Archive for General

IS AMERICA HEADED FOR ANOTHER REVOLUTION?

The following article was published in a 2018 issue of American Survivor newsletter, the official publication of Live Free USA. Members who join online can download over 70 back issues.  The recent Constitutional Sanctuary movement where towns, counties and states will refuse to enforce or cooperate in enforcement of Federal Laws is just another indication of how timely this article is. Back in the early 1970's we published an article about "The Coming Age of Terrorism"  Live Free USA has an excellent record of anticipating threats and disasters..

Is America Headed for Another Revolution?

By James C. Jones. EMT/CHCM

Introduction

It has been 242-years since the original American Revolution.  The Civil War was a geopolitical split rather than a systemic revolution.  There was certainly a lot of “revolutionary” activity during the late 1960s and early 1970s, but these movements were limited to a small segment of the population.  During these decades the vast majority of the population still shared a set of common values in a stable economy. The “Greatest Generation” that had recently made America great and defeated brutal and dictatorial aggressors was the dominant and stable force in American society at that time.  The radical communist and anarchist forces that seemed to define those decades literally and figuratively, burned themselves out.  However, many of these extremists and their divisive ideologies infiltrated our institutions and society.  A recent issue of Smithsonian magazine headlined 1968 “The Year That Shattered America” and contained a series of articles about the events and movements of those times.  While those times may not have actually “shattered” America, they left a collection of cracks that have grown and expanded to this day.

The United States Government is the oldest and most stable government in the world today.  All of the governments of Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle-East have fallen and risen several times while the USA has stood and prospered.  While many American attribute this to our values and the genius of our Constitution there are other factors that have historically contributed to our stability.

  • America has maintained a relatively homogeneous population. While absorbing significant numbers of legal immigrants from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, America was still expanding in available land, jobs and resources.  There were certainly conflicts, paranoia and prejudices, but it did not truly divide the nation.
  • America was generally isolated from foreign influences, religious extremists and political influences and threats. Ethnic and religious hatreds did not migrate into American society as dramatically as they do now.
  • America maintained strong values of community, responsibility, self-reliance and patriotism regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. We were Americans first.
  • While there were natural inequities in wealth distribution they were not nearly as extreme as they are today. A large, contented and socially responsible middle class still existed.
  • America and Americans were not subject to the constant divisive and toxic effects of the internet and social media.

None of these stabilizing factors are true today. Multi-ethnic societies are inherently unstable.  There is no longer an unlimited amount of real-estate, resources or jobs to absorbed even internal population growth.  We are involved with and influenced by divisive and confusing foreign involvements and intrigues. Today’s American is more self-centered, dependency-oriented and less involved in community than any previous generation.  The decades of centralized, big government have replaced responsibility with demanding, demonstrating and blame finding.  The gap between the poor and the ultra-wealthy is disgraceful and growing. The internet now facilitates division rather than unity, conflict rather than discussion and even violence in place of the political process.  Respect for the law and for American values has all but disappeared in many regions.  These are harbingers of future revolutionary developments.

There is a growing number of religious, racial and political elements that are quietly preparing for such a catastrophe.  There is a line in an old movie* about South American revolutions.  The General storms into the presidential palace proclaiming “El Presidente, the rebels are in the suburbs!” to which the dictator says “the rebels are always in the suburbs”. We are becoming more like one of these “Banana Republics”

Effects of Revolutions

With the notable exception of the American Revolution, very few revolutions have ever turned out the way the revolutionaries expected or hoped for.  Ask the Cuban’s or the Russians, or anyone from South America or the Middle East.  While they may start out with high ideals, they usually are co-opted by the most ambitious and brutal participants to create a more corrupt and oppressive state than the one it replaced.  There is an old joke that says that the first thing a successful revolutionary leader must do is kill all of the revolutionaries. If a revolution fails it justifies greater oppression and brutality by the state.

  • Revolutions can also degenerate into civil wars that divide the state into warring regions. When this happens, the chances for restoring peace and unity are almost non-existent.
  • Wide-spread demonstration can lead to the development of terrorism and even guerilla warfare that plagues the nation and destroys safety and security for generations. The Balkans and the Middle East are prime examples of permanently broken societies and civilizations
  • Those who instigate a revolution usually anticipate a quick and clean overthrow. Usually the revolutions are long, divisive and brutal, ruining the nation’s economy and destroying homes, towns and cities.
  • Foreign enemies and opportunists insert themselves into revolutions to provide weapons and even “volunteers” to various sides, increasing the level of death and destruction and prolonging the conflict. The longer and more devastating the fighting is, the more power and money they get.

In short: revolution is not a good idea if it can be avoided.

Precursors of Revolution

While conditions appear to be relatively stable as of this date, historically revolutions tend to erupt without much warning when a combination of long simmering disagreements and discontent are ignited.  A few precursors that could set the stage for revolution-like developments include:

  • Continued unchecked expansion of violent and non-violent crime leading to a loss in public confidence and trust in the police and further trends towards vigilantes and private security networks.
  • Any pervasive economic down-turn generating large-scale unemployment.
  • Significant reductions in welfare, social-security, and other benefits.
  • Political assassination and violence between political organizations.
  • Raids and thefts from armories and gun stores.
  • Any extreme shift in government policies either left or right resulting in deprivations, confiscations, or oppressive measures.
  • Contested and contentious elections marked by threats, demonstrations and violence.

It is difficult to predict what kind of events will transpire between now and the 2020 elections, but chaos and conflict seem inevitable. It seems doubtful that ether side will accept the results of an election without active resistance.  It is highly possible that there will be more than two parties and that we could have a president and legislature elected without a majority mandate.  Instead of complacent inaction, survivalists should be taking this opportunity to focus on preparing for the hazards of 2019 and 2020.

Surviving a Revolution

Surviving during a revolution can be a tricky business.  You have to cope with the effects of the violence on your basic safety and security while trying to stay on the right side or neutral in the conflict. Sustained revolutionary activities may result in a breakdown in law-and-order, sabotage or cessation of services such as running water, food deliveries, fire protection and medical care.  The fundamental preparedness procedures that permit you to shelter in place or evacuate remain paramount, but defensive and even paramilitary equipment and preparations take on increased importance.  The choices of survival tactics will depend on your political, economic and geographic environment at the time of any uprising.  A few possibilities include:

  • You may be able to adopt a neutral position of defensive non-involvement. You do not aggressively take sides but will defend your home and family against any attempted pillaging or violence.
  • If your community is predominantly sympathetic to one side or is simply forced to resist threats from a particular element, then you may have no choice but to actively participate in revolutionary or resistance activities.
  • If local, state or federal agencies are overthrown or find it expedient to suspend liberties, confiscate property or initiate mass arrests citizens may have no choice except to resist or escape.
  • History tells us that revolutions can generate high levels of violence and neighbor-against-neighbor animosity that must be avoided and survived by each person and family pragmatically.

Keeping your mouth shut, your eyes open and your powder dry is always a good maxim for surviving such turbulent times.

Conclusion

While I still regard revolution or revolution-like development as unlikely and undesirable, we can no longer exclude them from the list of “potential” survival threats. My study of history and observation of recent past and current events suggests that our nation is much less stable than in past decades.  If the current trends of divisiveness, violence and discontentment continue the specter of revolutionary activities and even the fall of our way of life must be recognized.  Responsible citizens must resist the temptation to be guided and motivated by media and internet divisive rhetoric and exhortations.  We must do all we can to support responsible law enforcement, and community based volunteer organizations.   But we must also plan and prepare to survive the effects of any kind of civil disorder, sabotage, crime and even revolution that may lie ahead. 

 

The title of the movie is “The Adventurers”.

   It’s not my imagination:   A month after I wrote the above article a poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports found that thirty-one percent of respondents thought that the United States would experience a civil war within the next five years. Thirty-seven percent of Democrats and thirty-two percent of Republicans anticipated a civil war in the near future.  A full fifty-nine percent were concerned that those who oppose to President Trumps policies will resort to violence. Unfortunately interest in preparedness and organized readiness is suffering from rampant complacency and disinterest when responsible citizens should be organizing, educating and preparing for the probability of civil disorder and even civil war in 2020 or before.

THE COMING AGE OF CIVIL DISORDER

As we enter the year 2020 we can anticipate further political chaos and agitation on the streets of America. It is difficult to predict how violent or widespread civil disorder will be, but it is something most should be prepared for.  Even those living in rural areas can be affected by the economic and social impact of any breakdown in law and order in their region.   The article below was published in Live Free's newsletter last year.  For more detailed survival information on a wide range of topics, we hope you will join. 

Surviving the Coming Age of Civil Disorder

By James C. Jones, EMT/CHCM

We live in an unstable and increasingly unsafe society.  While a sense of normalcy and safety still prevails the indications of societal disintegration and impending social chaos abound.  The sheer multiplicity of negative trends and events constantly weakens our capacity to maintain order and safety.

Increasingly frequent natural and manmade disasters drain our economy and overstretch our emergency response resources. The following list of challenges and trends should convince any responsible citizen that a dark-age of civil chaos and general lawlessness lies ahead.

  • The ongoing condemnation and persecution of police and emergency responders will continue to limit their ability to protect the public. Law enforcement officers must be more cautious and hesitant to pursue, detain and subdue suspects. In turn, criminals are more likely to flee, resist or employ weapons against the police.
  • Disparagement of the police and disrespect for the law has emboldened criminals of all types. Carjacking’s, street robberies, bank robberies, theft from parked vehicles, burglaries, shoplifting, and other crimes are becoming more rampant each year. The courts often release such criminals on the suspects own recognizant or home monitoring while awaiting trial and then hands down probation or reduced sentences.
  • Even so-called “gun crimes” by repeat felons are often given a proverbial “slap on the wrist” punishments or early releases from short prison sentences.
  • Smash and grab crimes where multiple criminals use sledgehammers or stolen vehicles to smash through windows or even walls to access valuables and escape before police arrive are more and more frequent in every urban and suburban region.
  • Violent crimes against the elderly and even the disabled are popular activities for the criminal class today.
  • Drive-by shootings and vehicle-to-vehicle shootouts on our expressways is an increasing trend.
  • The ongoing opioid epidemic added to the long-existing drug crisis in America and the world drives more people into the criminal world of gangs, violence and desperation.
  • Extremists and mentally deranged are increasingly turning to various forms of violence acts.
  • The internet and social-media facilitates flash-mob crimes where dozens of people suddenly overwhelm a store, grab merchandise and then flee before anyone can react. The internet has also made fencing stolen goods much easier and more profitable than before.
  • Virtually every social and political issue now generates a demonstration that ties up police resources, disrupts business, blocks traffic and often results in violence or even outright riots and looting. There are whole organizations devoted to supporting any kind of civil disorder and several secretive, national groups that are focused on initiating violence at any type of demonstration.
  • The budgets for law enforcement, fire departments, court systems and detention centers are inadequate in most urban areas and will continue to decline in the coming decades. Raising taxes causes law abiding tax payer to flee as does increased crime rates. This leaves only the poorer residents and welfare recipients who pay little or no taxes at all.  Most urban areas are caught in a death spiral of rising taxes, crime, and declining revenues.  This can only lead to instability and potential massive violence.
  • The recent 2016 election cycle provided a glimpse of the social/political instability and division. The internet and the mass-media continues to amplify division and support extreme viewpoints as we approach the 2018 and the 2020 elections.  The various sides are already gearing up for a contentious and possibly violent confrontations on many issues. No-matter what the results of these elections may be, we can anticipate violent demonstrations, active resistance and even revolutionary activities that exceed those of the turbulent 1960s and 1970s.

While some of these trends have marked previous times in American history and one or two of them alone could not be expected to generate a general collapse of law-and-order in our society, if continued, the combined effects of these trends may well lead to an unprecedented level of chaos and violence within the next few years. The period of violence and civil disorder generated by the combination of issues and agitation in the late 1960s and early 1970s offers some valuable lessons and examples.  I living in Chicago during these times, I witnessed the causations and effects of the violent events of those times.  The civil-rights movement, the anti-Viet Nam War movement and several other social/political movement were coopted by communists, and special interest groups with dark agendas.  Certainly the Soviet Union financed the more violent groups in order to weaken the United States.  Big financial interests benefited from massive real-estate displacements and public housing developments.  Government agencies grew stronger and more intrusive. So-called revolutionary groups abounded with shooting, looting and bombing culminating in the great riots that destroyed whole communities and initiated a trend towards disrespect, division and crime that continues to this day. At that time America still had a solid middle class and a foundation of shared conservative values that was sufficient to check the slide toward outright revolution and disaster.  The “greatest generation” of citizens who had built America and defeated tyrants and aggressors in World War Two were the dominant population then. Regrettably, today’s population lacks these unifying values and shared sense of responsibility.

The riots and demonstrations of the 1960s and 1970s were contained within the inner-cities and to downtown and government facilities.  While I lived in Chicago during these times and I certainly knew enough to avoid going downtown or through certain areas, life went on as normal for the great majority. Crime and looting did not spill-over into adjoining communities or suburbs.  Although there was real concern that these disruptions could generate a true revolution America was far too strong and unified and these movements eventually (literally and figuratively) burned themselves out.  They did however implant ideas, trends and cultures that have continued to weaken, destabilize and divide American society as we face a new age of internal conflict.

Previously, the dominant social force in America has been conservative, self-reliant, America values that were resistant to any “isum” or extremist views.  This central, law-abiding mass tended to dampen any tendency towards violence.  Unfortunately the dominant tendencies today are dependency oriented, self-centered and disrespectful of society and other individuals. The media and the internet can easily foment nation-wide discontent leading to violence that would affect every community.

Today’s more homogenous communities make it far more probable that any general uprisings will spill into adjoining communities than was true in the 60s and 70s.  Shopping centers in more affluent and “safe” communities will not likely be spared.  Gangs and bands of criminals will not be hesitant to roam widely as police are over-occupied or driven away. This is already evident in the kinds of crime-waves being experienced in most suburban areas now.

Today criminals use google earth to locate affluent homes and shopping centers now and will be able to use this tool along with social-media to organize raids and looting.  No area will be immune to attack during any future outbreak.

Having made my case that law-and-order is already breaking down and could easily degenerate into wide-spread and long-term chaos, let’s consider what steps the responsible citizen can take to survive, avoid or escape from violence ravaged areas.

The survival challenges will differ depending on your location, but there will be no “safe zones”.  Violence and war tends to flow in various ways, so that one part of a town may be ravaged to ruination while another is relatively untouched.  Even in places like Berlin during World War Two or modern day Bagdad there were/are areas relatively untouched and nearly normal, but no-one can assume that their home or community will be spared.  We can predict that some kinds of areas will be more dangerous than others and have different challenges that will require differing preparations and responses. Let’s call them “red zones”, “orange zones” and “yellow zones”.

Red Zones would be inner city, high population density and high value commercial centers where crime rates are already high, gangs have established a solid footing and any disruption to police protection, utilities or support can quickly flash into uncontrollable violence, looting, fires and crime.  The police barley maintain control of such regions today and would be virtually helpless against a general collapse.

  • Avoidance and prevention: obviously moving to a safer area will improve survivability, but many citizens have economic, family and social responsibilities that effect our choice of locations. If moving is not an option, then getting involved and working to build a stronger, safer and more stable community is the only way to avoid being caught-up in a societal disaster?  Take action now if you can.
  • Preparation and planning: Preparation and planning: Being able to stay off the streets is critical. Having enough food, water, medications and other necessities to ride-out a crisis is your first step to survival in most situations. Red zone residents must give more attention to active defense and the possibility that escape and evacuation will be an unavoidable necessity in their preparation and planning.  Bug-out bags and weapons are a necessity.  Consider discussing mutual defense and aid plans with your neighbors and relatives in advance.
  • Active and passive defense: Once civil disorder erupts in your area, you will be forced to take up an armed defensive posture. Blocking doors and windows, establishing a 24/7 watch schedule and having loaded firearms and extra ammunition is justified in such situations.  You should also move all flammables and combustibles away from windows and have plenty of large fire extinguisher on hand as arson and Molotov -cocktails are a favorite tool of insurgents. Do not fire on anyone unless they have initiated action against your home.  Don’t do anything to attract attention.
  • Evacuation and escape: In many cases escape from a riot-torn area may be your best and only option. While it may be difficult to abandon your home before you are forced to do so, waiting until you are surrounded and under assault may be too late. Early evacuation may permit you to take more with you and use your vehicle, whereas fleeing at the last-minute may mean doing so on-foot while leaving most of your valuables behind.  You may also want to consider how to hide, secure or even burry items that you cannot take with you to minimized losses if your home is looted or burned.

Orange Zones would usually be communities adjoining the Red Zones, suburbs of major cities, and medium sized towns.  Such areas will have gang presents and local criminals that will seize on opportunities. They have active contacts with the larger Red Zone political extremists and criminal gangs and could facilitate their entry into these communities.  The police forces in such areas are often undermanned, but are dedicated to defending their home towns.

  • Avoidance and prevention: You need to analyze the level of risk you face in such areas. Are your neighbor’s responsible citizens or potential threats?  Are you in or near a major commercial center or roadway that will attract looters and criminals? Are there signs of gang presents, drug use and high crime already appearing in your community?   Even a relatively peaceful community may turn into a Red Zone if civil disorder last for more than a few days. Plan accordingly.  Many smaller town and suburban communities have volunteer police auxiliaries and emergency organizations.  It would be beneficial to join and support these groups to strengthen the community and enhance your level of training and awareness.
  • Active and passive defense: Assaults and looting is more likely to be hit-and-miss and off-and-on in these areas. Roaming gangs and opportunistic criminals rather than massive mobs will be the main threat.  A well prepared and well-armed citizen may be able to avoid, discourage or drive-off these aggressors. Fences and hedges can help delay or channel assaults away from your home.  Keeping your garage clear enough to actually contain your vehicle out of site is a major advantage.  You must still have a 24/7 watch plan and a well thought out plan for stopping an assault and home invasion by multiple criminals. How close are the adjoining buildings?  Could there occupation by hostile people or their catching fire threaten your safety?  Be prepared to deal with these possibilities.
  • Evacuation and escape: While sheltering-in-place is more desirable than evacuation into or through hostile regions, it may still be a forced necessity.  The same principles and tactics for Red Zone evacuations apply, but more routs and options may be available. Think “what if”.

Yellow Zones can be defined as remote small towns and semi-rural areas, away from main highways and commercial centers. While it is unlikely that such locations would initially be the sites of riots or looting they might not be immune to locally generated crimes and acts of violence by individuals and small groups. Drug gangs and extremist groups of all kinds have infiltrated even seemingly peaceful communities. Radicals and criminals are far more mobile than they were decades ago, and isolated and complacent communities could be tempting targets. Such areas often have just a few law enforcement officers who are ill-equipped to handle such threats.

  • Avoidance and prevention: Any extended period of civil disorder could result increased, opportunistic criminal activities and roaming gangs endangering residents of outlying communities. Organized community and town defense is a realistic option for such locations. Consider the most likely routs and directions from which threats could appear and de prepared to discourage and reroute potentially dangerous individuals and groups. Organized 24/7 community patrols and response plans will go a long-way in preventing problems.
  • Preparation and planning: Generally, being self-reliant and prepared to get by without outside supplies and services for weeks or months will be the main requirement. Community supplies and neighbors helping neighbors is important
  • Active and passive defense: Even in the most peaceful communities there are some individuals who will make trouble or commit crimes of opportunity when they think they can get away with it. Identify them in advance if possible. Be vigilant and prepared to deal with attempted robberies, home invasions and other crimes.  A 24/7 watch is advisable when possible.
  • Evacuation and escape: If the chaos has reached the point where even small towns and rural areas are unable to maintain public safety things are truly disastrous.  It’s good to have a preplanned place to go and safe route to get there, just in case. At that level of emergency the survival camp and militia-like resistance may be necessary to recover order.

Conclusions

While there are far too many factors in-play to predict when a period of general civil; disorder will develop or how severe and long-lasting such an event will be it seems more likely than not that significant upheavals lie within the next five to ten years or less.  It is also apparent that such developments will impact most communities and that existing law enforcement and emergency response agencies may be inadequate to maintain order, protect the public and prevent looting and property damage. The responsible citizen should be prepared to cope with the challenges of home defense, self-defense, property protection, and if necessary evacuation through hostile surroundings.  Since such situations could also interrupt food supplies, water and electrical services, and access to medical care, the citizen must stock up and build basic survival capabilities as well.  The possibility of massive and enduring periods of civil disorder must be added to the already long list of potential survival challenges that the responsible American citizen of this century must prepare to face unaided if necessary.

Constitutional Sanctuaries for Citizens

Sanctuary for Citizens

By James C. Jones, EMT/CHCM

While the term “sanctuary cities” has been used to describe municipalities that have chosen not to cooperate with the Immigration and Control and Enforcement agency (ICE) in the enforcement of America’s laws, the term sanctuary and the now established concept of defiance of federal laws by local governments may be essential to defending legal citizens against unconstitutional violations of their civil and constitutional rights. Most of the candidates running for the presidency in 2020 are strong advocates of gun confiscation and socialist (anti self-reliance) legislation. Draconian gun-laws and other oppressive actions must be anticipated at the state and national levels within the next one or two years. While effective individual and small-group resistance to such unconstitutional and un-American activities has little chance of success, there is a real potential for effective and successful resistance on the local, county and state levels, through American sanctuary resolutions and legislation. In states where so-called “Red Flag” laws have been enacted most of the rural and many of the suburban police departments are simply refusing to enforce them. Some towns and counties have official declared themselves to be “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” in defiance of these laws. Many police officers in urban areas are “pro-gun rights” and the great majority of suburban, small-town and rural police officers are second amendment supporters. They are not going to be knocking down doors and serving warrants on their neighbors and law abiding citizens. They are not going to be welcoming or cooperating with invading federal agents who come to confiscate property and criminalize their friends and relatives. How the federal government would react to massive defiance is difficult to estimate, but the more wide-spread and organized the Constitutional Sanctuary movement is, the more likely they will back-down, without actual violent confrontations. Before the federal government enacts unconstitutional legislation, constitutional sanctuary towns, counties and states need to be declared and well established as a deterrent or the basses for national resistance. The establishment of scores of sanctuary states, thousands fs sanctuary counties, and hundreds of thousands of sanctuary towns will not only serve to protect the second amendment, but would be a revolutionary power shift away from centralized authority and back to local and state level autonomy. The first American Revolution started when the British acted to confiscate local armaments. The people understood that once they had lost control of their personal, and locally owned weapons, the British could enact and enforce any laws and taxes that they chose with impunity. Today’s elitist, and socialist look down on local governments and despise individualism and self-reliance, but by going after the guns they may be (as the British did in 1776) enabling a unified and dare I say, revolutionary response in the form of a massive establishment of sanctuary territories supported by law-abiding and responsible citizens who want nothing more than to have their constitutional and human rights respected.
An American Constitutional Sanctuary movement could and should be established. This could be an official organization or a cooperative effort by multiple pro-freedom organizations. A few of the activities that such a movement could and should initiate would include:
• Establishing networks between sanctuary and pro sanctuary towns, counties and organization.
• Initiating petition drives to encourage states, counties and municipalities to establish pro-sanctuary declarations or legislation.
• Sponsoring email campaigns to encourage candidates at all levels to sponsor and support sanctuary legislation and declarations.
• Creating publicity campaigns to support the constitutional sanctuary concept and candidates
• As anti-freedom legislation becomes more imminent, demonstrations and even civil-disobedience could be necessary.
While to specter of gun confiscation, higher taxation, regulation and centralization should be disheartening to those of us who value our rights to self-reliance, the impending struggle offers the opportunity to unite, energize and win. While a sanctuary is generally defined as a place of refuge it can also serve a basis for resistance and victory. .
The author would propose that Live Free USA official declare its support for all constitutional sanctuaries and enact a formal declaration at the next Annual Meeting.

The Latest Issue of American Survivor Uploaded

The November/December issue of American Survivor newsletter has been uploaded to the members only/American Survivor page.  The index of articles for all of the back issues has been updated as well.  Only members who have joined Live Free USA online can access all of these issues.

A downloadable fifty-page Members Handbook will be available to download early next year.  Printed versions may be available later.

Survival Lists

While preparing my next book for  Skyhorse  Publishing, I found it necessary to review all of the survival equipment and all of the lists for various kits and packs. I have created new lists for:

  • What to have in your pockets
  • What to have in a Get Home Bag
  • What to have in an Evacuation Pack
  • What to have in vehicle
  • What to have in an outdoor survival kit.
  • What to have at home
  • What to have in your Bug Out Bag

I also discuses hybrid survival packs and caches

SurvivalLists8-08

Coming Soon to Live Free USA

COMING SOON!

In the coming months Live Free USA will be moving forward with several projects and improvements.  The challenges and hazards of the coming years demands that we strengthen our base and expand our membership.  With a larger and more active board of directors we are now able to pursue multiple objectives.

Website Improvement

We are working to creat a more attractive and interactive website with more functions for online members. We also hope to have more activity in the survival medicine, chapter activities, and other specialized pages. We are also exploring ways to offer discounts to members who purchase survival gear through the site.

Chapter and Affiliated Organization Support

One of our directors will function as the Chapter, Affiliate Coordinator, regularly communicating with each chapter and providing support and and involvement.  A Chapter Leaders handbook will be available by early 2020 and maybe a regular Chapter Leaders online newsletter.to follow.

Permanent Survival Training Facility

A land-site in northern Indiana is being developed as a site to conduct advance survival and self-reliance training operations.  This site should be available in early 2020. The site will include campsites, sanitary facilites, a traing building, and a rifle and pistol range. We are seeking donations and pledges to help us make improvements and maintain the facility.

Added Value to Membership

  A members Handbook will be available by the end of 2019.  The book wil include information about Live Free organization and philosophy, but will also containe valuable survival information.   It will be available online free and a printed version will be available at nominal cost.  We may increase membership fees slightly and include the handbook with all new memberships. Other ideas are being considerd to add value to membership.

Expanded Survival Instructors and Programs

  Camp Independence will continue at Tippecanoe River State Park in Indiana, but may be franchised to other locations throughout the USA.  We also plan to revive our Certified Survival Instructors program to develop new instructors and support current instructors.

Opportunities to Get Involved

We currently have two opening for Directors to the Board of Directors.  These posted can be filled by designation by the board untill the next election.  Filling these posts will definitely help us reach the above goals. Additionally the board is authorized to designate Deputy Directors and establish teams to work on projects.  We would welcome hearing from members new and old who want to get involved and active. Since we now use the internet and online meetings it is not necessary for officers to reside in any nearby location.

New Recommended Book List

While working on my newest book I updated my recommended book list that will be included as an appendix to the book.  I have attached it as a PDF below.

RecommendedBookList,7-16

Survival in the UK

Prepping in the UK

The following article is reprinted with permission from The Real Survivalists at https://therealsurvivalists.com A British survivalist website. Be aware that survivalism is now and always has been an international movement.  After all, what can be more universal than the need to protect one’s self and one’s family from harm?  Live Free USA operated as Live Free International for a while back in the late 1980’s.  We had members in Britain, France, Australia, Belgium and a few other countries. Back then we were united by the universal concern of nuclear Armageddon. In the post-Cold War era there was a period of denial and confusion that decimated the survivalist movement for a decade. The concerns for survival and freedom today are different, but no less serious, and survivalism is again a world-wide movement facilitated by the internet.  While Live Free “USA” focusses on those concerns that are unique to us, we need to reach out and network beyond our borders as well.  Perhaps there is a place for a new Live Free International or International Survivalist Union in the future?

Prepping in the UK

Prepping in the UK is becoming more of a common occurrence. With all of the goings on in the world, it is probably not much of a surprise that more and more people are becoming involved in Prepping in the UK.

Prepping in the UK can be a controversial subject. Many people will see prepping as something only paranoid people do. This is not a fair summary. Most UK Preppers have regular full time jobs, are everyday people who just want the best for their family. They see prepping as an insurance policy against whatever may come their way.

 

What is Prepping in the UK?

Prepping is a term used to describe preparing to survive multiple forms of life changing events. These events could be a very personal emergency such as job loss, house fire etc. or they could be world changing events such as weather phenomena, illness epidemic and similar. The level to which you prepare is based on how likely you think the event is to happen. Prepping in the UK involves creating a supply of everything you need to sustain life should one of these events occur. This usually means storing enough food and water to keep you alive for a set period of time and enough equipment to top up your supply once your initial one runs out. It is not just about physical supplies either. Many UK Preppers have a vast knowledge of basic survival skills such as fire lightingshelter building, hunting etc. First aid and medical skills tend to be key skills that UK Preppers are proficient at.

Why do people prep?

This is a tough question to answer as all Preppers have their own individual reasons for starting to prepare for the worst. Some will start prepping as a result of all of the negative stories in the media surrounding terrorism, nuclear weapons etc. Others will start because of personal concerns about their local area regarding safety and preparedness. And other Preppers begin as a natural progression from their interest in survival and bushcraft.

Each person who has started Prepping in the UK will have their own reasons for prepping. Whatever the reason, this is certainly an interest that is growing.

Prepping in the UK vs Prepping in America

A lot of people will see shows like Doomsday Preppers which is filmed in America and think that all Preppers are the same. American Prepping can be very different to Prepping in the UK. For example, quite a few American Preppers will have a selection of firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition. They believe they need this to protect themselves should the worst happen. Other American Preppers have vast supplies in underground bunkers and are almost excited at the prospect of the Apocalypse. While this isn’t the case for all American Preppers, it tends to be this persona that is shown on this type of TV show. Prepping in the UK tends to be a bit more reserved.

UK Preppers tend to have food and water supplies, first aid and medical gear and a selection of useful survival tools. Weapons are harder to own in the UK so maybe that is why Preppers here do not usually store too many. However it could be that the attitude towards weapons is very different in the UK. Guns and knives are mostly seen as tools here opposed to weapons so we have a different outlook on them when it comes to Prepping.

 

How do I start Prepping?

Prepping is a very personal thing. A huge supply of tools is not needed before you can call yourself one. You could argue that having a life insurance policy makes you a Prepper. You are making sure your family is looked after should the worst happen to you. This is effectively prepping.

Being a Prepper is all about doing a realistic assessment of the events that could happen to you. Once you have a list of possible events and consequences, you can then start preparing for each one. You do not need to spend huge amounts of money on the latest survival kits and equipment wither. Prepping is about being adaptable and creative with the tools you have available so you can start prepping today if you feel the need to!

Go to https://therealsurvivalists.com  the site has a lot of good information and a bit of a different perspective.

Is America Headed for Another Revolution?

Is America Headed for Another Revolution?

By James C. Jones

Introduction

It has been 242-years since the original American Revolution.  The Civil War was a geopolitical split rather than a systemic revolution.  There was certainly a lot of “revolutionary” activity during the late 1960s and early 1970s, but these movements were limited to a small segment of the population.  During these decades the vast majority of the population still shared a set of common values in a stable economy. The “Greatest Generation” that had recently made America great and defeated brutal and dictatorial aggressors was the dominant and stable force in American society at that time.  The radical communist and anarchist forces that seemed to define those decades literally and figuratively, burned themselves out.  However, many of these extremists and their divisive ideologies infiltrated our institutions and society.  A recent issue of Smithsonian magazine headlined 1968 “The Year That Shattered America” and contained a series of articles about the events and movements of those times.  While those times may not have actually “shattered” America, they left a collection of cracks that have grown and expanded to this day.

The United States Government is the oldest and most stable government in the world today.  All of the governments of Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle-East have fallen and risen several times while the USA has stood and prospered.  While many American attribute this to our values and the genius of our Constitution there are other factors that have historically contributed to our stability.

  • America has maintained a relatively homogeneous population. While absorbing significant numbers of legal immigrants from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, America was still expanding in available land, jobs and resources.  There were certainly conflicts, paranoia and prejudices, but it did not truly divide the nation.
  • America was generally isolated from foreign influences, religious extremists and political influences and threats. Ethnic and religious hatreds did not migrate into American society as dramatically as they do now.
  • America maintained strong values of community, responsibility, self-reliance and patriotism regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. We were Americans first.
  • While there were natural inequities in wealth distribution they were not nearly as extreme as they are today. A large, contented and socially responsible middle class still existed.
  • America and Americans were not subject to the constant divisive and toxic effects of the internet and social media.

None of these stabilizing factors are true today. Multi-ethnic societies are inherently unstable.  There is no longer an unlimited amount of real-estate, resources or jobs to absorbed even internal population growth.  We are involved with and influenced by divisive and confusing foreign involvements and intrigues. Today’s American is more self-centered, dependency-oriented and less involved in community than any previous generation.  The decades of centralized, big government have replaced responsibility with demanding, demonstrating and blame finding.  The gap between the poor and the ultra-wealthy is disgraceful and growing. The internet now facilitates division rather than unity, conflict rather than discussion and even violence in place of the political process.  Respect for the law and for American values has all but disappeared in many regions.  These are harbingers of future revolutionary developments.

There is a growing number of religious, racial and political elements that are quietly preparing for such a catastrophe.  There is a line in an old movie* about South American revolutions.  The General storms into the presidential palace proclaiming “El Presidente, the rebels are in the suburbs!” to which the dictator says “the rebels are always in the suburbs”. We are becoming more like one of these “Banana Republics”

Effects of Revolutions

With the notable exception of the American Revolution, very few revolutions have ever turned out the way the revolutionaries expected or hoped for.  Ask the Cuban’s or the Russians, or anyone from South America or the Middle East.  While they may start out with high ideals, they usually are co-opted by the most ambitious and brutal participants to create a more corrupt and oppressive state than the one it replaced.  There is an old joke that says that the first thing a successful revolutionary leader must do is kill all of the revolutionaries. If a revolution fails it justifies greater oppression and brutality by the state.

  • Revolutions can also degenerate into civil wars that divide the state into warring regions. When this happens, the chances for restoring peace and unity are almost non-existent.
  • Wide-spread demonstration can lead to the development of terrorism and even guerilla warfare that plagues the nation and destroys safety and security for generations. The Balkans and the Middle East are prime examples of permanently broken societies and civilizations
  • Those who instigate a revolution usually anticipate a quick and clean overthrow. Usually the revolutions are long, divisive and brutal, ruining the nation’s economy and destroying homes, towns and cities.
  • Foreign enemies and opportunists insert themselves into revolutions to provide weapons and even “volunteers” to various sides, increasing the level of death and destruction and prolonging the conflict. The longer and more devastating the fighting is, the more power and money they get.

In short: revolution is not a good idea if it can be avoided.

Precursors of Revolution

While conditions appear to be relatively stable as of this date, historically revolutions tend to erupt without much warning when a combination of long simmering disagreements and discontent are ignited.  A few precursors that could set the stage for revolution-like developments include:

  • Continued unchecked expansion of violent and non-violent crime leading to a loss in public confidence and trust in the police and further trends towards vigilantes and private security networks.
  • Any pervasive economic down-turn generating large-scale unemployment.
  • Significant reductions in welfare, social-security, and other benefits.
  • Political assassination and violence between political organizations.
  • Raids and thefts from armories and gun stores.
  • Any extreme shift in government policies either left or right resulting in deprivations, confiscations, or oppressive measures.
  • Contested and contentious elections marked by threats, demonstrations and violence.

It is difficult to predict what kind of events will transpire between now and the 2020 elections, but chaos and conflict seem inevitable. It seems doubtful that ether side will accept the results of an election without active resistance.  It is highly possible that there will be more than two parties and that we could have a president and legislature elected without a majority mandate.  Instead of complacent inaction, survivalists should be taking this opportunity to focus on preparing for the hazards of 2019 and 2020.

Surviving a Revolution

Surviving during a revolution can be a tricky business.  You have to cope with the effects of the violence on your basic safety and security while trying to stay on the right side or neutral in the conflict. Sustained revolutionary activities may result in a breakdown in law-and-order, sabotage or cessation of services such as running water, food deliveries, fire protection and medical care.  The fundamental preparedness procedures that permit you to shelter in place or evacuate remain paramount, but defensive and even paramilitary equipment and preparations take on increased importance.  The choices of survival tactics will depend on your political, economic and geographic environment at the time of any uprising.  A few possibilities include:

  • You may be able to adopt a neutral position of defensive non-involvement. You do not aggressively take sides but will defend your home and family against any attempted pillaging or violence.
  • If your community is predominantly sympathetic to one side or is simply forced to resist threats from a particular element, then you may have no choice but to actively participate in revolutionary or resistance activities.
  • If local, state or federal agencies are overthrown or find it expedient to suspend liberties, confiscate property or initiate mass arrests citizens may have no choice except to resist or escape.
  • History tells us that revolutions can generate high levels of violence and neighbor-against-neighbor animosity that must be avoided and survived by each person and family pragmatically.

Keeping your mouth shut, your eyes open and your powder dry is always a good maxim for surviving such turbulent times.

Conclusion

While I still regard revolution or revolution-like development as unlikely and undesirable, I can no longer exclude them from the list of “potential” survival threats. My study of history and observation of recent past and current events suggests that our nation is much less stable than in past decades.  If the current trends of divisiveness, violence and discontentment continue the specter of revolutionary activities and even the fall of our way of life must be recognized.  Responsible citizens must resist the temptation to be guided and motivated by media and internet divisive rhetoric and exhortations.  We must do all we can to support responsible law enforcement, and community based volunteer organizations.   But we must also plan and prepare to survive the effects of any kind of civil disorder, sabotage, crime and even revolution that may lie ahead.

Live Free and Gun Rights

LIVING FREE and GUN RIGHTS

By James C. Jones, EMT, CHCM and president of Live Free USA

Ultimately, gun rights are about the right to life and freedom.  There is no point in talking about emergency preparedness, survival and self-reliance for an unarmed population.

Live Free USA began as a shooting club in the late 1960s.  By the 1970s guns and gun ownership was under such assault that being a “gun club” in Chicago was impossible. It is probably impossible for any of our readers now to comprehend the level of harassment, persecutions, prosecution and prohibitions imposed on us in those times. It seemed inevitable that we would be forced to use muzzle loaders and cross-bows in defense of our lives and our freedoms. The NRA at that time was not a political force and liberals ran rough-shod over the constitution and anyone who sought to exercise the second amendment rights.  Live Free broadened our activities to include survival education and civil-defense while keeping our gun related activity’s underground.  The acceptability of shooting sports, concealed-carry and military-style rifles today has been achieved through decades of struggle.  Since there are many great gun-rights advocacy groups today, Live Free focuses on our core survival and self-reliance mission, but remembering that the capacity for armed defense and resistance is an essential part of survival and self-reliance, I will enumerate some of our positions related to the issue of so-called military-style rifles that have been so maligned in recent weeks.

The ownership of so-called, military-style rifles with high-capacity magazines has nothing to do with hunting or sports shooting. It’s about citizens maintaining the potential to resist foreign or domestic subjugation and oppression.  This does not imply that owners of such weapons are revolutionary, extremists or members of formal militias. They consciously or subconsciously accept the reality that the freedom and security of their families and future generations depends on maintaining the balance of force between the state and the people.  Owners of these weapons have the upmost respect for the laws and the government, but they do so by choice and responsibility, not by fear and submission.

The major difference between the way American citizens think and the way subjects of other countries think originates from the fact that most other peoples were granted their liberties by the state and still believe that power flows from the state, while Americans fought for their freedoms and know that they are the ultimate source of freedoms and authority.  This difference in origins creates an instinctual propensity to be armed or have access to arms that is not shared by citizens of other nations. It is no coincident that America has the oldest government on the planet and the most individual freedoms.

Ultimately: the right to keep and bear arms” is an extension of the human right to self-protection that exists regardless of written laws.  It follows that one must have the means to exercise that right.  One cannot be expected to defend oneself against an armed assailant or an oppressive despot with anything less than what that assailant or oppressor may have. We could not exercise the right to free speech if we were limited to old printing presses while the government controlled the mass media and the internet.  We could not exercise freedom of religion if it was limited to only ancient texts and methods.  So we cannot effectively exercise the right to keep and bear arms if we are limited to anything less than the best and most modern equipment.

The constitution does not say “hunting being a necessity”, it does not say “the ability to resist crime being important” it says “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”.  There is no ambiguity in this sentence. The second amendment is about military-style arms.  We are guaranteed the right to own, keep and bear military-style arms by the constitution.  The term “regulated” in the eighteens century was defined as well managed or well-maintained, but not regulated by law as the word is used today. The final four words “shall not be infringed” specifically prohibits any form of taxation or governmental action that interferes with this essential right.  The founders did use the generic term ”arms” even though the contemporary “arms” were muzzle-loading muskets and swords.  In fact they were referring to the “military-style” weapons of that time, but these were intelligent, forward thinking man who anticipated advancements and certainly wanted future citizens to “keep and bear” arms that would be equal to those of criminals, invaders and would-be tyrants of the future.

The missus of a right by a few does not justify the prohibition of that right to others.  Trading freedom and responsibility for safety is the poorest bargain a people can make.  Ask the Russians, or the Chines, or the North Koreans or the Mexicans or anyone from a hundred oppressed, depressed and crime-ridden nations that we do not want to live in. The loss of lives caused by a few evil and mentally-ill individuals is truly tragic, but cannot justify turning our back on the freedoms that were bought with the lives and sacrifices of generations of veterans.  Yes, they died for the second amendment as well as our other freedoms and surrendering any of those freedoms is a betrayal of their sacrifices.

In a world spiraling towards increasing political strife, civil disorder, street crime, economic instability, potential epidemics, increasingly severe disasters and terrorist activities, only the most irresponsible and pacified citizen can fail to see their duty to be prepared to meet violent situations in the future.  While the anti-gun movement may be lead (or mislead) by the youth, it is those between the ages of 15 and 25 that may most regret no having access to military-style weapon and ammunition just a few decades in the furfure.  In fact one may want to consider purchasing additional such arms and ammunition to be stored and distributed in the future to the next generations that may desperately need them.

  In Short:  Any action that limits the access to modern, effective military-style firearms to law abiding citizens of the United States is specifically unconstitutional, philosophically un-American, and functional dangerous to the future of life and freedom for us all.