2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

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.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Go Bags and other insanity in the media...

Recently in my home city of Columbus there was a gun battle between a lone gunman and local police that resulted in 2 officers being shot. First, thank you God for allowing them both to get out of the fight with non-life threatening injuries. As the media first reported the incident it seemed like the 2A crowd's worse nightmare. A simple traffic stop turned deadly as a gunman with no previous record unloads on police with an "AK-47" that he legally bought. This would seem to prove the theory that guns are best kept out of the hands of law abiding citizens since any one of us could turn into a killing machine at the drop of a hat. Nice theory in this case except for the fact that it wasn't true. Turns out our "regular Joe" had a small pot growing operation in his apartment and various friends and family members all stated in the media that drugs had changed him considerably over the past few years. Too bad none of them intervened in his life, because after he shot up 2 cops, his apartment and his neighbor hood he put the last round of his rampage into himself ending the standoff. Lesson here, don't do drugs. As for all the people who say that if he never gotten the weapons in the first place this wouldn't of happened I say sure, I'll turn mine in. Matter of fact, we don't know which ones of us are going to go commit vehicular manslaughter either, so lets all turn our cars and trucks in too....

The local media made a big deal about him using an "AK-47". Of course everything is an AK-47 to the media....
yeah, I ripped this off from about a dozen other sites...

Some of the other things I though were somewhat humorous was the local's media emphasis that a bullet from the "AK" traveled 150 yards and struck one of the police officers in the face through the windshield. Damn, most air rifles will travel 150 yards. I guess maybe in today's society where everyone is a doughnut munching pogue (like yours truly) and 150 yards is farther than most people can spring without stopping that does seem like a really far distance. The other thing that they seemed to latch on to was that he had a "go bag" packed according to the police with water, ammo and first aid supplies. Ooh, I guess he was one of those right wing gun nut survivalist types that I read about in the paper all of the time.

Guess what, I got one too.

Hi, my name is Pete and I'm a bag addict. There, I admit it. I have always had a penchant for buying bags to carry my stuff in when I really didn't need them. As my better half will attest, I really have no self control when it comes to impulse buying. Retailers and marketers see me coming a mile away like I was 10 foot tall, covered in orange neon paint banging pots and pans together the entire way. Its a weakness. Maybe I just haven't found what I am looking for yet, the perfect bag, one that can carry all of my "tactical" toys easily, has gobs of space in a convenient size and is not so militant looking that it will blend in with the general populace around me. Since I retired from National Guard I have had less of an actual reason to go ahead and buy the latest and greatest digitized-clown-paint-camo-scheme-3-day-assault-pack-with-dual-hydration-system, a kegerator, built in footlocker, ammo cans, and a Swiss army knife in kevlar mesh in a bikini cut.

So what is a "Go Bag" anyway? Basically its a bag designed to be used if you need to cut and run from your primary location with supplies that address your immediate needs for survival. Not every bag is the same as each bag should be tailored to the needs it must address. Many "survival" types sites devote a lot of space to the subject of these bags. Another popular term associated with them is "EDC" Every Day Carry bag. Its not as crazy as you think. Women have been carrying bags for years with items that they constantly use, workmen have been hauling tool bags to and from job sites, Medics have carried aid bags and the business people have carried brief cases and shoulder bags for year. Yet, apply this concept to something along the lines of emergency use or survivalism and all of a sudden the concept is shrouded in mystery and intrigue. I have some older and newer bags in use and others that are lying around. Some are purely tactical, some are "man purses", some are just bags. How to they compare? let's take a look:

CountyComm Bail Out Bag: Available from CountyComm Aimed at the law enforcement crowd, this bag is designed for an officer to keep essential items at the ready in case they have to "bail out" of their cruiser. It can normally be found stashed under the rear bench seat of my truck and contains just some rudimentary items in case of emergency. I normally carry just a single bottle of water and an 1 liter empty water bottle (to be filled by any potable source as needed) in it. Also in it are a few protein bars and some bagged granola, a flashlight, a knife, a AM/FM/Shortwave radio, an emergency poncho, an emergency blanket, a small first aid kit, a flare, 2 glow sticks, 20' of para cord, a small first aid kit (minor cuts and scrapes), hand sanitizer and wipes and a bandana. There may also be some extra mags and ammo for whatever I am carrying at the moment in there. Why all of this? It may sound a bit paranoid, but going on my recent post about a cops view of an upcoming revolution, I point out my assessment that a "bug out" situation for me would most likely be a some type of WMD incident in Columbus. Since I work downtown I would, or may, need some basic items to try and evacuate downtown and may have to bail from my vehicle and rely on the bag to sustain myself until I can get transportation and hook up with my wife and child. I also always have some type of jacket and blanket in the vehicle as well. CountyComm Bail Out Bag, notice the plethora of pockets and ample space inside (I have removed most of my usual contents so you can see the interior)

Messenger Style Shoulder Bag: Purchased some years ago from Old Navy, this bag is used when I need some extra carrying capacity for the office. When I do use it you will normally find a small flash light, first aid kit, emergency poncho and knife in it in addition to whatever else I may be carrying that day. The large flap of the bag is secured with two squares of velcro and is not very secure. This bag has however been a surprisingly robust design made with medium weight cotton canvas and double bar stitching. One nice thing about it is it does not look overly "tactical" and would not be out of place in most settings. In a pinch if I would need to bail from my vehicle and it was the only bag available to me it would quickly be able to be drafted into service as a true "go bag" if need be.

Old Navy messenger style bag. Sometimes simple is good.

The 3 Day assault pack type go bag. This is a bag I picked up over in the PX in Kuwait to use for hauling stuff to and from leave and the like. The Army now issues an official 3 day pack for soldiers to use during patrol duties over there as the ruck has been pretty much made obsolete by the Army's use of large amounts of vehicles in Iraq. Back in 2006 we had to buy our own for the most part. A 3 day pack gives enough room for spare ammo and food for about, you guessed it, 3 days. As a bug out bag it provides plenty of space for some spare clothing and toiletries in addition to the "normal" supplies you would want to have. This type of pack would be idea for an individual to use while evacuating a large metro area or traveling for a few days on the road.

3 Day Assault Pack type bag, plenty of room for your stuff.

Helmet Bag: Once one of the coolest bags to own back in the days of BDUs, these bags were issued to aircraft and armored vehicle crewman to store their helmets in. For a long time mine was used as an ad-hoc overnight bag. About 18" to a side and made of nylon with polyester batting in between the layers, it was soft enough to be used as a pillow. There are 2 outer pockets on the bag, 2 inner sleeves and enough room to keep some extra clothing and a rolled up poncho liner in it as well. Not ideal for use as a "go bag" but nice to have if you can find one none the less.

Helmet bag, helmet head.

CountyComm EOD utility bag. Another CountyComm bag, this is based on the current claymore mine bag supposedly. I am using this bag (with a few added pockets) as my primary range and SHTF bag. It has two sides of PALS webbing to attach all of your "tacticool" pouches as well as an internal mesh divider and two internal magazine pouches. The strap is solidly made but in my opinion a bit low on the sides to offer real stability. Still it has worked admirably for me and is tough enough for any role assigned to it. For less than $25, its hard to beat its value.

CountyComm EOD Utility bag. I have added a couple of external mag pouches, a flashlight pouch, my BOK previously covered in this blog and few snap link type clips for use.

Plenty of PALS webbing on both side to attach stuff.

You can see the 2 internal mag pouches as well as the two pouches (4 total slots) on the outside. This is a cavernous bag even if it does not appear so. Great for carrying ammo and mags to the range!

The Not-so-tactical bag approach: Having a bag scream "hey, I got survival supplies and/or weapons!" on you may not always be the smartest approach. There may come a time in an crisis situation where discretion certainly may be the better point of valor. Remember after Hurricane Katrina when local law enforcement went around and illegally seized firearms from law abiding citizens? They certainly meant well but left many a stranded family unable to defend themselves in the aftermath of that tragedy. Below are some bags that would not necessarily be out of place in any setting but yet could carry items as "go bags"

I actually got this at the hospital when my daughter was born, hence the "A Dad for a Lifetime" banner and image graphic on the bag. We never needed this bag as a diaper bag or anything so it has been sitting in my basement holding spare mags and holsters for my collection for a while. You could easily slip this into the truck of your car with a few items and be ready in case of bad times.
Here is a little black back pack I got after attending an IT training course. It is fairly well built and would probably stand up to some abuse. Couple of spare mags and other items and its ready for use.
Larger than Life bags: These are bags big enough to pack more than your "normal" items that a go bag might contain. I know for many people living in the Southern climates in the US a light sweater or polypro and a wind/waterproof shell may be all the winter gear you may need, but in the Northern states we have 4 distinct seasons with winter being the most harsh. I actually keep a bag packed with surplus military cold weather gear and some civilian items for every member of my family. Just in case we would need to evac in a hurry during the winter I just grab and go knowing that a warm coat, gloves and hat are packed for each of us. As "go bags" these would be excessive in size and would compromise mobility (one of the keys to surviving a SHTF type event) but I am including them regardless just so you have an idea of their uses. A GI duffel bag. Readily available in surplus stores it offers a wide range of packing possibilities. The two external shoulder straps also make it possible to use as a back pack if needed. This is what I keep winter clothes for myself and my family packed in for emergency use.

Genuine GI medium rucksack with frame. Definitely tough enough for whatever is thrown at it. A bit bulky in comparison to the 3 day pack shown above, but an economical choice if you need something like it. These ALICE type packs are being phased out and should be available in quantity on the civilian market.

This is a civilian knock off of a flyer's kit bag used commonly by airborne troops to store their used 'chutes for repacking later. A single cavernous main compartment with a side to side zipper allows you to pack too much in it sometimes to the point that carrying can be a hassle.

And lastly, the "I'm not a go bag" bag": No joke, its a zip lock. Remember the pictures of people walking out of New York after 9/11 due to transit systems being shut down? How many people in that crowd would of liked to of had a bag like this sitting in their desk drawers at work with maybe some basic first aid supplies, a candy or granola bar, bottle of water, a dust/hospital mask, small flashlight or other similar items. I think I said it above, but no single "go bag" is right for all situations. My thought is this, I need a small bag to help get from my office to my truck, another if I get to my truck and I can't use it, and another once I get home and need to leave there. Use your imagination. It may be a simple plastic bag but that does not limit its usefulness. Imagine you are walking out of downtown after a chemical spill or weapon has gone off. You come across an office cooler that obviously cannot be contaminated from a central source. You can use the bag to carry some of the water with you. Same use I have my blue 1 liter bottle with me in my truck. Hey, God gave you a brain for a reason, don't be limited by the obvious choices think "outside the box". That in itself is a survival strategy to depend on.

OK, so there you have it. My little secret is out. I am a bag addict. I would love to hear from some of you and see if you have a "go bag" and if so what it contains. Drop me a comment on this post if you want and we'll see how many others we can get together for a 12 step group.


Kevin Delaney said...

All in all a good post. I myself do not have a "GO bag" packed. I do have a back pack that has to many zippers. It's kinda a pain, but it serves its purpose. Actually, any bag that you have can serve as a go bag. Even a trash bag will work if you didn't give a lot of thought to having a situation arise that may cause you to leave the house in a hurry. Granted that actually is a long shot it is better to be safe than sorry.

As far as the cops and the 150 yrd shot. Better he put a bullet in his own head. Because if I was a police officer and confronted him I would have saved him some money in ammo. That officer was doing his job. The suspect took a shot at him.....I dont care how far he was. He still shot. So as far as i'm conserned they should shoot back,
and ahoot to kill.

I pray for him and his family.

I have a hard time feeling sorry for people who commit crimes. Im kinda an eye for an eye guy. Take for example the guy who was on death ror for 25 years here in OH-IO for killing and raping a 14 year old girl. They tried and tried to find a usable vein but couldnt. Now the liberals are screaming cruel and unusual punishment if they try to administer it again..... what about his rights?

He lost them when he hurt that little girl.

Why dont they just take these people out back after they get their trial and sentencing and just shoot them instead of bleeding taxpayers with appeals????

Huey148 said...

Unfortunately we do not have a secondary method of execution here in Ohio to use on this guy. I foresee him fighting this in the court for another 20 years and then dying of a heart attack before they get to him again. I really don't think they can argue he was not killed before because the actual execution doesn't start until they push the drugs. The death warrant is not read until after he is prepped.

And I agree, you don't need to find a vein for a bullet.