29 December, 2008

TT Coast Guard rescues drifting French family of four

Photo: Guardian

Pascal and Noelle Bazin, daughter Melanie and son Alexis were rescued on Sunday night by a 20-member search and rescue team of the TT Coast Guard. The family had been adrift in a small rubber life raft after their catamaran sank off Martinique on Thursday.

Congratulations to Captain J Ramoutar, Commander Huggins and the search and rescue team.

The family used a flashlight and a flare that helped them to be spotted. They had an emergency plan, emergency equipment and supplies. How many Trini families have a family emergency plan with accompanying equipment and supplies?

- Trini Funshooter

28 December, 2008

Resilient communities

Resilient Communities are communities that are supposed to be able to withstand disruptions and carry on with life, even if other communities are severely affected. Floods, violent crime, interruption of grid-supplied power and other disasters will not stop the community from operating. John Robb, a former US Air Force special ops pilot, and blogger of http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com has been credited with coining the term.

Here in TnT we have seen the effect of a little flooding on transportation, power, food supplies, infrastructure and law and order. Hapless, confused drivers and passengers were robbed on the C/R Highway, near Beetham Gardens, while trying to escape flood waters in our capital city. This was just a couple of hours of rain. Now imagine the compound effect of sustained rain, over several days.

Most of our communities will not qualify as RCs. Many people immediately look to central government for their most basic needs.
Even the umbrella agency specifically mandated with the task of disaster management and prevention seemed underprepared.

Should we look closely at this project, and perhaps learn and model, making adjustments that is suitable to our culture, climate and resources?

- Trini Funshooter

Air rifle club update

Air rifle club update

Another successful meeting of our air rifle club has taken place. Officers were elected, a logo with its elements, a colour scheme and a final draft of a membership application form were finalized and agreed upon. The expected Sport Ministry official did not attend, but she promised to be present at the next meeting.

The new executive got through the agenda in three hours, as opposed to four in the first meeting.


Fifteen of the world’s major gas producing countries, including T&T, attended a meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in Moscow, last week.

Algeria, Bolivia, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, T&T, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. Equatorial Guinea and Norway were there as observers.

Russian PM Putin offered St Pietersburg as a permanent home for the offices of the new entity, along with full diplomatic staus. but the GECF leaders adopted a charter and agreed to establish a permanent office in Doha, Qatar, instead.

The group signaled the end of cheap natural gas, but were quick to deny any talk of ‘price cartel’. What this portends for T&T’s economic future, we’ll wait and see.


One of the largest national grocery chains had a run on their carts on Monday 22nd Dec. We arrived at the store to find shoppers standing around awaiting other shoppers to return with trolleys from their cars.


Pregnant woman with a couple items in hand, asked shoppers to allow her to skip in express line at well-known supermarket chain. All refused, vehemently. Sounds like the story of baby Jesus.


Bought a pair of steel toe garden boots, a clip-on bicycle pump and some more tinned foods. Took an old towel that lost its ‘fluffiness’, cut it into several smaller pieces, serged the edges and now we have several washrags and hand/face towels for the BOBs.

We are planning a family emergency evacuation and relocation drill. It should be a learning experience. Hopefully we can have someone videotape the entire event for learning and posterity. No point discovering during a real emergency that we overlooked a critical aspect of the plan. Better to find the flaws and glitches now, fix them and make any necessary changes. One prepares for war in the time of peace.

- Trini Funshooter

21 December, 2008

Iguana, preps, meds rotation

Shot an iguana today. It took five or six shots before finally succumbing. A healthy seven-pounder, about 35 inches from head to tail.

Why do iguanas just sit there while you shoot them repeatedly? It seems counterintuitive to survival.

I gave it to someone who loves that type of meat.


Got two more whistles (free, at a childrens party) and immediately put them in the Bug Out Bag (BOB). One more lanyard, and we’ll have one whistle-and-lanyard combo per family member.

Bought a few more tins of pellets, at a good price. Some for target practice; some for the BOB, and the rest for the preps. To that, added mints, vitamins, a knife, pure cocoa butter, ginger tea, plastic forks.

Some of the stashed meds are getting close to expiry date. This is the one ‘downside’ of prepping: you cannot rotate (use and replace) meds out of your stash. It’s a sunk cost. The upside is, it’s there; available for your use in the event of an emergency. Doesn’t matter if there’s a curfew, the pharmacies are closed, the hospitals and health centres are overwhelmed or your insurance doesn’t cover the private nursing homes.

Better to have them at hand and not need them, than need them and not have them.

We have access to medical advice by phone, sms, email and web chat from professionals familiar with our health/medical history. So there would be no self-diagnosis, nor self-prescribed administration of any of the meds (some are quite powerful and effective).

We also keep a personal health record (PHR) for each family member, that is quite detailed and comprehensive; in soft and hard copies.

- Trini Funshooter

17 December, 2008

Charity begins at home

Read in a daily paper that the Rotary Club of Penal recently launched a "Feed The World Project". They leave food collection bins at various locations, and then the food is “distributed to underprivileged families locally and abroad.”

Feeding the poor is both admirable and necessary. It is our duty to help the less fortunate among us. Even when stockpiling our emergency supplies of food, water, medical supplies and a way to protect it, and our loved ones (beans, bullets and bandaids) we must also store enough to share with those who refused to prepare.

But the words “and abroad” caught my attention. Trinidad and Tobago does not produce enough food to feed all our citizens. As a net importer of food we import over $2 billion worth annually. We have hundreds of citizens that go hungry daily. Should we import food, then send it outside the country? Shouldn’t charity begin at home?

The Rotary club should be commended for it’s initiative, but may want to reconsider the ‘food export’ part of the plan, at least while we have so many hungry people here.
- Trini Funshooter

10 December, 2008

Some interesting facts about shooting

Shooting is one of the safest of all youth sports. In 2003, the US Civilian Marksmanship Program implemented new safety standards for all rifle shooting activities. Since those changes, there have been zero gun accidents in all supervised youth shooting sport activities in the USA.

Gender, size, strength, speed, and physical ability are not important factors in determining success in the shooting sports.

Anyone can be a successful shooting sports participant if they are willing to practice.

Shooting sports teach life skills—discipline, responsibility, the rewards of hard work, self-control and respect for others।
Shooting is an Olympic sport.

It’s Fun!

Source: http://www.odcmp.com/

- Trini Funshooter

07 December, 2008


After reading about the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, one must wonder about the potential risk of such an occurrence in T&T. It is low, but still possible. Prudence dictates that we prepare.

Between August and 30 November 2008 the World Health Organisation has reported over 11,700 cases with 473 recorded deaths. A case fatality rate (CFR) of 4%. The WHO has set a target of under 1% CFR.

Treatment is usually oral re-hydration therapy along with an antibiotic. Tetracycline is most commonly used as the primary antibiotic. There are drug-resistant strains, but rapid diagnostic assay methods are available for the identification of multi-drug resistant Vibrio cholerae.
If treated in time, the mortality rate is less than 1%, but left untreated, it escalates dramatically to 50-60%. The life cycle of the bacterium is five days.

One should err on the side of caution and consider–– if not cholera, at least some other nasty motile organisms––in one’s preparedness plans. Safe, clean, drinkable water is vital for life. Stockpiling more water purification equipment and materials would be advisable.
Household bleach, water purification tablets, boiling, water filters etc are all very effective in making water safe for drinking. Bleach has a short shelf life, so rotate emergency stocks frequently.

Store more than you need, so you can dispense charity.

- Trini Funshooter

26 November, 2008

Seminal meeting of air rifle club

Yesterday evening we had our seminal meeting of what may be the first air rifle club in the country. Maybe by organizing ourselves, and cooperating in an activity that contributes so much fun in our lives, we may well be creating national history at the same time. The meeting went well, with many points raised, and many challenges and solutions discovered. A first draft of our club rules was settled on, along with a club name. Issues to enquire about were listed, and the next meeting date was decided.

It is said that “In the multitude of counsel there is wisdom”. The meeting was proof of this, as we accomplished in four hours more than anyone could, on their own, in weeks. I look forward to working on this project with these individuals, who I respect and admire, holding them in high regard.

Air gun shooting is really a fun activity that engenders discipline, focus, commitment, safety and security awareness, leadership, loyalty, cooperation, and good sportsmanship. Many of these qualities are essential for good citizenship. As a bonus, the shooter also develops skills that can put food on the table, and maybe even save lives, in an emergency. It is also evidentially safer than all other sport, as there are zero injuries recorded in this country. How many other sports can claim zero injuries?

To emphasise how air gun shooting develops an individual into a good citizen with the above qualities and skills, we need only to look at the country’s most successful air gun shooter, TT Defence Force Corporal Roger Daniel, who is an accomplished national and regional champion, as well as an Olympic athlete. If you spend five minutes in his company, you’d know what the term ‘quiet professional’ means. A true national role model for our nation’s restless youth.

Once up and running, the club should have programs that targets our youth; involving them in healthy, legal––but more importantly for them––fun activities.

- Trini Funshooter

24 November, 2008

More preps, more price increases

Got two more flashlights, with accompanying batteries. Large requires D size batteries, while small uses AAs. Both courtesy a ‘loyalty marketing’ program from our regular grocery.

Another price increase; the humble Ramen noodle soup, normally sold at $2.30/pack is now $4.95! An increase of 115%! This, at a time when some world food (and oil) prices are decreasing. Thankfully, we bought a few packs each month for the past few months––at the lower price––so we can hold off until the price returns to ‘normal’, or give up the food entirely, as it contains only marginal nutrition. It’s only in the preps because of the ease and speed of preparation––3 minutes in boiling water and it’s done. Something hot, quick and tasty.

- Trini Funshooter

22 November, 2008


Bought hooks & screws that came in a handy compartmentalised container, similar to a pillbox. Also got some baby toothbrushes, a collapsible 5 litre water jug, a fuel funnel and a calculator.

Considering a bulk purchase of food in conjunction with other likeminded folks. Inflation, now at 15.4% will eat away at the purchasing power of our money, so it’s better to spend the money now, and get more tangibles now than hold on to it and buy less later.


Discovered a sneaky tactic that a leading national grocery chain is using; selling a 9kg pack of parboiled rice, instead of the usual 10kg. Price is $112. It’s packaged exactly like the 10kg pack, and you have to look closely for the ‘9 KG’ sign. I went home to check, as I was sure I had bought a 10kg bag for $60 2 years ago. Yes, it was 10kg.

10kg bag = $60
9 kg bag = $112

Replaced the 10kg with the 9kg, and now I have less rice in my preps to feed my family in an emergency. Maybe a call to Charles James of JMH may be in order. Wonder what the minimum order is to get wholesale prices? Hmmmmm…

- Trini Funshooter

19 November, 2008

Floods, North and South

Trinidad and Tobago
experienced severe flooding yesterday. Bridges collapsed, houses fell, children drowned, vehicles were buried, homeowners lost furniture, appliances, photographs and other valuables. One part of a highway had to have traffic diverted onto the Priority Bus Route and Eastern Main Road. Reportedly, the worst hit areas were the capital city, Port of Spain and it’s environs; the East-West corridor and South.

The responses by the disaster agencies were admittedly faster and more professional than before, but still lacking. More citizens also appeared to accept that waiting for the authorities to respond was not in their best interests and even toddlers were seen on tv, using brooms to remove mud and debris.

This will probably be the best time for the relevant authorities, viz., ODPM, CDERA, Ministries of Works, Local Government, National Security, et al, to roll out a national comprehensive public disaster awareness and preparedness educational campaign. This can be linked with the MILAT program and provide a spark for finally stimulating serious national discussion and debate about mandatory national service for our youth. Citizens would be more receptive while recent events are still fresh in their minds.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) pilot program that has been successful in Tobago can at last be brought to Trinidad to add to the strength of properly trained emergency responders available.

Neighbourhood defence groups can be organized to prevent looting and other opportunistic criminal acts. This would free up the resources of the police to concentrate on more serious crimes. It would also prevent the law enforcement professionals from being overwhelmed when we need them most.

My response to the flood was to to buy more preps. A few hundred diapers and a few dozen boxes of matches to add to my stash. That’s better than money in the bank. Now if only someone can teach me the proper way to waterproof those matches with wax…

- Trini Funshooter

09 November, 2008

Prepared, preparing or not?

Came across two images that graphically illustrates the differences between those who prepare, and those who do not.

One noted local economist, Dr Dhanyshar Mahabir, has predicted “hard times ahead” for the Trinidad & Tobago. With rising double digit inflation, maybe we should spend our dollars on prepping, rather than holding it in bank accounts that pay 1% or 1.5% per annum. I’m eating rice this week that I paid $6/kg over 2 year ago. The same label sells it’s rice at $12.50/kg now. A 108% increase. If I had held on to the cash, instead of prepping, I would only be able to buy less than half the rice with the same money. I’ll continue to ‘invest’ in tangibles, so that my family will be insured against hunger, thirst, medical supply shortages and violent crime.
Every prep purchase is a premium on our family insurance (assurance) policy.

Prepare today. Survive tomorrow’s emergencies.

- Trini Funshooter

30 October, 2008

Chicken prices up, again

One of the largest chicken wholesalers in the country has raised their retail prices by 7.14 %. This was preceded by a 3.7 % increase two months ago.

- Trini Funshooter

26 October, 2008

Video: Air Rifle Shooting Positions

This basic instructional video shows three air rifle shooting positions. Just copy and paste the following URL into your browser’s address bar:


- Trini Funshooter

23 October, 2008

Gold reserves

An opposition senator has advised government to convert the majority of its’ foreign reserve currency holdings into gold. Finally, a voice of wisdom and prudence.

Trinidad and Tobago has 1.9 tonnes (.7% of total reserves) of gold reserves held by the central bank. Venezuela holds 356.8 tonnes (33.3%) of its’ reserves in gold.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_reserves

Out of a listing of 107 countries holding gold as part of their reserves, Venezuela appears at #15, with T&T at #91.

Our net official reserves are US$9,145,500,000 (July 2008). If we convert about 25% (US$2,286,375,000) of that to gold, we will get 2,540,416 ounces troy of at least 99.95% purity. Add that to the 61,093 ozt (1.9 tonnes) we already hold in reserves and we will be holding 2,601,509 ozt (2.6 tonnes) worth US$2,341,358,000.

A well negotiated deal with our CARICOM neighbour and trading partner, Guyana, may even allow us to receive payment for our products in gold, at slightly below market rates. After all, we forgave three quarters of a billion dollars in debt just a few short years ago. The Guyanese are probably eager to show their appreciation for our magnanimity.

Every time the price of gold rises by US$10, the value of our gold holding will appreciate by US$26,000,000.

This will certainly be a tangible asset that has real value, will not corrode, and will be available for use, trade or conversion long after any of the world’s ‘monopoly (the game) currencies’ become worthless. Its uses are well documented and numerous: In electronics, electricity, the aviation/space industry, medicine, decoration, and of course, jewelry.

Two thousand years ago, one ounce troy of gold would buy a Greek citizen a well-made toga and a pair of good sandals. Gold is such an excellent store of value that today one troy ounce will still buy a gentleman a quality tailored suit and a pair of leather shoes, along with shirt, tie, socks, cuff links, underwear. Name one currency that has retained that type of value.

It’s clear that we need some comprehensive strategy to ride out the coming economic storm. Will we repeat the mistakes of the 80s?

Visited four jewelry stores, asking about possible purchase of gold ingots, small bars, coins or other forms of bullion. All persons approached seemed perplexed. One salesperson even suggested I ask someone to smuggle it out of Guyana for me!

- Trini Funshooter

21 October, 2008

Airport disaster drill

Will be present at an upcoming Caribbean international airport’s disaster drill, soon. I have attended a few of these over the years and thoroughly enjoy them. One has the opportunity to observe national level emergency responders under pressure. An education in itself. Most actors happily answer questions posed.

Each drill involves a different, but likely scenario. A plane crash, an explosion, terrorist attack, hazardous material spill etc. The first responders arrive and go to work immediately, after the initial phase, and the area is secured, then secondary and tertiary responders do their part. All actors strive for seamless operation between agencies, but naturally, there are always a few snags.
Agencies involved are fire fighters, police, military, intelligence, medical, airports authorities, disaster preparedness specialists, safety specialists, hospitals, civil aviation authorities, ambulance services, helicopter services, relevant government ministries, communications, customs, immigration and sundry observers, volunteers (victims etc) and evaluators.

An incident management post is established, with each agency involved having at least two representatives; a supervisor and a scribe. They report to their respective superiors at the command centre, which is staffed with one higher-level supervisor/manager along with one scribe per agency. All agencies report their intel to the command centre. A single person, usually the airport operations manager, coordinates this centre with advice from the various agencies represented.

The drill lasts about 3-4 hours, but the preparations begin almost two months before. The airport involved is shut down for the duration of the drill. There is a post-drill evaluation, with lessons learned shared.
The result of the evaluation bears weight in the decision of the ACI as to which category status to issue to that particular airport. The category status has ramifications for insurance rates, airlines that will/will not land there etc.

- Trini Funshooter

17 October, 2008


While enjoying the sunset this evening with the family at the ‘El Dorado’ hill, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye, in the bushes. An adult wild rabbit, about eight to ten metres away. He paused for a moment, but that was enough time to squeeze off a head shot. He fell over twitched for a couple minutes, then lay still. Large and brown, with a healthy coat, he was heavier than my rifle (nine pounds), so a good, conservative estimate would be about 12-15 pounds. My 24 month old son said, “doggie, Daddy?” When corrected, he said, “wabbit”.

While showing it off, someone offered enough money that I couldn’t refuse, so it was sold on the spot. The cash will be used to buy more pellets. Someone else’s family will enjoy rabbit stew tomorrow for lunch.

There is really something special about that hill. Maybe this was an omen.

Today was a great day.

- Trini Funshooter

04 October, 2008

Hunt, shop and preps

The hunt this morning was more enjoyable than last time. A few birds downed, with lots of misses. A trek through grass and bush, some taller than us. Lots of razor grass and thorns, but also a large number of birds. From hawks, parrots and ground doves to parakeets, kiskeedees and unidentifieds.

No small game spotted, but fruit trees reconned as potential future stalking sites. Even without game, a great morning spent ‘in the bush’.

Bought a few preps while shopping for baby boy’s upcoming party. Canned foods, juices, Ramen soup, Crix Multigrain crackers, toothpaste, laundry detergent and unexpected gem; a pair of safety/utility gloves that may also work well as shooting gloves. They are made of Spandex, stretchable leather, PVC and composite synthetics. Managed to get it for even less than the sale price. A deal.

Stockpiling food, water, pellets, gun spare parts, tools, pharmaceuticals and bandages (beans, bullets and bandaids) gives me and my family a sense of security in these uncertain times.

With ongoing wars and rumours of wars, tropical storms, hurricanes, violent crime, dynamic political escapades and feuds coupled with food and fuel increases side by side with double digit inflation…
Spending money today on consumables we will use tomorrow seems better than earning 6% in some mutual fund that may or may not be there when I need it. Remember ITL? Summit Finance? If those unfortunate folks had spent more money on preps, then when the companies folded, the impact would have been less devastating.

It doesn’t have to be either or. You can still invest AND prep. Just tweak your asset allocation policy to include tangibles in hand. Remember the adage of “a bird in hand…” being “worth more than two in the bush.”

Prepare for your family’s immediate (and future) needs today.

Hunting season is open!

Wednesday the 2008-09 hunting season opened. Eager hunters have been waiting since the season’s close at the end of February to renew their hobby. For some it’s a passion. Being a newbie, the passion hasn’t yet developed. But the idea of being able to track, stalk, trap, kill, field dress and cook game appeals to me on a visceral level.

Woke up at 4: 30 am and left without breakfast. Assembled all my gear the night before, so packing the car was easy. Drove to the chosen area and awaited dawn. As the sun’s rays began peeking over the hills, geared up and started the trek into the bush.

It was fairly uneventful, with no game sighted. Made a beginner’s mistake by bringing a cleaver instead of a cutlass (machete). Spent a few hours walking, standing, stopping, listening, looking, smelling, shooting. Bushcraft skills need improvement and tuning up with regular practice.

- Trini Funshooter

02 October, 2008

The Four Universal Gun Safety Rules:

Rule 1: Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.

Rule 2: Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy (this includes your own body parts).

Rule 3: Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.

Rule 4: Be sure of your target and what’s in line with your target.

- Trini Funshooter

29 September, 2008

Land with a view

Rediscovered a hilly new development within a half hour’s drive from home. Perfect for shooting, with natural backstops. Perfect for home for a number of reasons. It’s on a breezy hill, with a view. Only three houses, with a fourth being constructed, and the spacing between houses is far apart enough to make good neighbours. A large water tank is on the hill, and even though it’s not painted in their colours, one can safely assume it belongs to the water authority (WASA).

There’s also a spring or river within a five minute walk, further uphill, according to a resident. That is to be verified. Wife and children love it.

My older son and I happened on the site one day, about three months ago. We were looking for a new, safe, semi-isolated spot to shoot. After shooting that morning, we questioned the owner of the house that was being built, and he told us that all the plots were sold and no one was wiling to re-sell theirs. We assumed he was being honest. Tried on at least four occasions to find our way back, simply to shoot again. No success. Through a process of driving around, turning into strange neighbourhoods, questioning local residents and sheer determination we finally found our ‘El Dorado’.

Yesterday evening it became apparent why we had such a difficult time finding it. The route is circuitous, with a few roads having no signs, and some even looking like dead ends from afar. I now have a map in my head and will never forget again.

A youth who lives in the area showed us two plots of land that were up for sale and seemed surprised that we were informed earlier that no land was available for sale. Investigations are continuing.

- Trini Funshooter

State game licenses in the bag

Got the necessary state game licenses this morning. Forestry division has got to computerize its’ operations. Hand writing every single application and license is archaic, labour-intensive, frustrating–to applicant and issuer alike-and a waste of time, energy, skill, paper and human resources. It is probably mind numbing to the employees of the division.


A major helicopter company called me today, confirming that my name would be placed on their list of responders in the event of an aviation disaster. Naturally I’m thrilled, but wish them a perfect safety record. I’m only on the secondary responders list, but that’s good enough. Having worked on four international airport disaster drills has helped prep me. I have also been called out to the scenes of numerous vehicular accidents, shootings and violent protests. Many involved fatalities.

Now if only I could convince them to provide me with an entire safety kit…


Saw Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam at a function today. She is even more beautiful than when she won in 1998. One hopes that she has the ‘beauty longevity’ of Janelle ‘Penny’ Commissiong and Giselle La Ronde-West.

TSTT dialup too slow

Not posting as frequently as necessary, as TSTT dialup has been so slow recently, that some sites are not accessible. Awaiting a modem for the Blink broadband service. The TSTT rep said there’d be as much as a one month wait. We’ll see how that works out.

TSTT is owned by Cable & Wireless, GORTT and individual shareholders (through NEL). Bashing TSTT is no good for any citizen, as we all have a vested interest in making the entity successful. They’ve also got a rough deal because of TATT’s insistence that the ‘playing field be level’. Apparently TATT has made TSTT’s accommodations with respect to Digicel so onerous that the field is not level, but tilted in Digicel’s favour. You can do your own research on that. There’s also talk of a former TSTT manager who was asked to leave the company and is now a very senior TATT exec with an axe to grind.

- Trini Funshooter

Republic Day morning shoot

Shooting was ok yesterday. We managed to make a fairly mature bamboo collapse under it’s own weight after the onslaught of about 40 extra heavy 10.5 grain Baracuda pellets. It gave it’s life so that airgunners can have fun, and display creativity in target selection and acquisition.

Number one son asked to shoot a rifle. This was surprising, as he would only shoot my rifle if I insisted. Dave has a rifle with a black synthetic stock a.k.a. an Evil Black Rifle (EBR). Maybe in the eyes of a 12 year old boy, my wooden-stocked rifle is ‘old school’. Properly maintained, my rifle would still be taking down small game 90-100 years from now though. It’s a German engineered classic. Perhaps when he’s older and wiser, he’ll appreciate it. Especially when he realizes it was willed to his brother.

- Trini Funshooter

Gas price increases and pellets

Filled up at the pump the day after Budget reading and immediately felt the new gas price at the pump. Ouch. Must consult mechanic to determine whether a switch from ‘premium’ to ‘super’ would have any adverse effects on the car. The gas station owner recommended the switch along with a bi-monthly dose of fuel injector cleaner.

Bought some pellets today. The much-touted, extra heavy Diabolo Baracuda. A couple tins to start the hunting season. The dealers prices range from $108 to $300 per tin. Having a few thousand pellets feels good. Especially since the prices of most consumables keep increasing almost monthly. Perhaps the local iron and steel industry can look at producing pellets for local and regional markets.
Happy Republic Day to all. I’ll celebrate by taking my family shooting this morning. After a hearty breakfast, a couple hundred pellets downrange can work wonders for the soul.

- Trini Funshooter

Crime plan suggestions

A few suggestions to reduce crime dramatically in this country.

Mandatory national military service for those over 18. Maybe 12-18 months. If at university, or in sixth form, then it’s deferred until graduation, but before age 26.
Mandatory ‘boys club’ training from form one. This will include marching, gun training (air guns will be both cheaper and safer), hiking, camping, patrolling and all the other skills that go with these activities.
Forming a committed, carefully selected team of police officers, special prosecutors, military intelligence officers (and other capable ‘snoops’) into a unit that will gather intel, analyze, investigate (and use ‘sting’ ops) and aggressively prosecute corrupt police officers. This unit should only be seen as temporary, with some sort of sunset clause in their mandate. Once the police service is clean again, they should either cease to operate or be directed to clean up other services.
Allow all Assistant Police Commissioners to issue firearms licenses.
Issue firearms to any citizen who applies, with the following provisos:
Must own land (or live in parents self-owned home)
Must not have any convictions for violent crime (someone who passed a bad cheque should still be allowed to defend themselves)
Must undergo a psychiatric evaluation
Must pass a gun competency training course
Spouse/adult SO must agree to allow ownership
Must shoot at an approved range at least once per quarter (every three months)
FULs renewed once every five years.
FUL holders should be allowed to keep up to 1,000 rounds of ammo, per gun.
More training and licensing of gunsmiths, with at least 12 per county.
More licensing of gun dealers.
The drafting and speedy passing of ‘Castle Doctrine’ laws. These laws will allow homeowners/landowners to use deadly force, if necessary to protect themselves, their loved ones and visitors and also their property. Police officers will no longer automatically be able to treat legal gun owners like common criminals for doing the right thing (protecting loved ones from heartless criminal rapists, kidnappers and murderers).
Have the HDC build outdoor 25m and 50m ranges in all of their new developments. This can be as simple as having a tractor push dirt up to form the backstop, with a long shed, and a small locked unit for storage of targets, tables, benches, etc.

Villages, and counties can compete a la Best Village competitions. We’ll not only have skilled dancers, singers, dramatists, comedians and playwrights. But also skilled, disciplined shooters, coaches and trainers that the country can call on should Venezuela, Colombia or Barbados ever decide to invade us.

These same citizens can be organized into volunteer, regional citizen corps to aid emergency workers before, during and after any disaster. This can done under the supervision of the ODPM or a new purpose built entity. They can also be networked into neighbourhood watch groups with teeth.

Since the majority of younger citizens will be properly trained and supervised in the correct use and safe handling of guns, the curiousity factor will have been appeased. Our youth will therefore have no excuse for handling illegal guns.

Because so many citizens will be properly trained and armed, the playing field will be level, with citizens finally having a fighting chance against the violent predatory criminals. Bandits, unsure about who is armed and who isn’t will be much less bold in their ‘trade of choice’, with many opting to seek other trades with longer term prospects (the wages of sin is death).

Of course, I don’t have all the answers. But please don’t be in denial about our present violent crime situation. Don’t give the same pat excuses that it’s a world problem; more guns means more crime; the government through the Ministry of National Security is spending many millions more, and have plans to eradicate crime, etc.

If we keep doing what we’ve always done (restricting legal gun ownership, while allowing-through omission or commission-illegal guns to enter and be used to kill citizens then we’ll always get what we always got–more crime, more citizen insecurity, bolder criminals, younger criminals, richer lawyers, poorer law-abiding citizens, longer periods for trials to begin, shorter lifespans and eventually chaos and anarchy.

Professor John Lott, in his book “More Guns Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws” has shown that violent crime is significantly lower in counties (he analyzed data from all 50 US states) that has less restrictive gun ownership laws and higher in counties with more restrictive laws.

Mahatma Gandhi, that Indian icon of peace has this to say about owning guns:
"Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."

-- Mohandas Gandhi, An Autobiography, pg 446

Who am I to argue with Gandhi?

Even Jesus teaches that it is wise to be armed, in Luke 22:35-36:

"Then Jesus asked them, 'When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?' 'Nothing,' they answered. He said to them, 'But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."

Sell your cloak and buy a sword. Advice from gentle Jesus, meek and mild.

Who am I to argue with Jesus?

James Wesley, Rawles, blogger extraordinaire of www.survivalblog.com while listing the precepts of his survivalist philosophy reminds us that in the absence of law and order, men become barbarians almost overnight, and we should always have lethal means at our disposal to repel attacks on our loved ones:

“Civilization is Just a Thin Veneer.
In the absence of law and order, men quickly revert to savagery. As was illustrated by the rioting and looting that accompanied disasters in the past three decades, the transition from tranquility to absolute barbarism can occur overnight. People expect tomorrow to be just like today, and they act accordingly. But then comes a unpredictable disaster that catches the vast majority unprepared. The average American family has four days worth of food on hand. When that food is gone, we'll soon see the thin veneer stripped away.

Show Restraint, But Always Have Recourse to Lethal Force.
My father often told me, "It is better to have a gun and not need it, than need a gun, and not have it." I urge readers to use less than lethal means when safe and practicable, but at times there is not a satisfactory substitute for well-aimed lead going down range at high velocity.”

Who am I to argue with the venerable J W Rawles?

Further reading:

More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws by John R. Lott Jr.

The Seven Myths of Gun Control: Reclaiming the Truth About Guns, Crime, and the Second Amendment by Richard Poe

The Bias Against Guns: Why Almost Everything You've Heard About Gun Control Is Wrong by John R. Lott Jr.

Thank God I Had a Gun: True Accounts of Self-Defense
by Chris Bird

Outgunned: True Stories of Citizens Who Stood Up to Outlaws--and Won by Robert A. Waters

America Fights Back: Armed Self-defense in a Violent Age
by Alan Gottlieb & Dave Workman

The Holy Bible by God
- Trini Funshooter

23 September, 2008

Budget Day

Today the 2008-2009 Appropriation Bill will be read in Parliament. For the first time in our nation’s history it will be introduced by a woman; Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tescheira. AirgunsTT congratulates Minister Nunez-Tescheira, and wishes her well in her first Budget reading.

We’d also like to draw her attention to the high cost of airguns and related expenses. One glaring example comes to mind. A spare magazine for the 15 shot FX Revolution cost US$20-30 retail in the US, but is sold here for TT$1,000! The dealer has expenses such as sales tax, shipping, 40% customs duty etc., but even with the most liberal calculations, and allowing for a 100% profit, this should still be sold for less than $700. But that’s for another post. Hopefully, we can alert Madam Minister about our plight, so that she can alleviate some of the strain that T&T airgunners feel in the 2009-2010 budget.

We’d also like to invite her to join us on the range any day she feels like. We promise her that if she hasn’t yet shot airguns, she’d love it. We have seen numerous hoplophobes become shooters after only a couple minutes of safety instructions followed by a few minutes of target shooting. Yes, air gun shooting is fun, indeed. That’s the main reason we do it. The fun factor.

While on subject, we have seriously archaic laws drafted in the stone age regarding airguns. Will the Minister of National Security please look at these laws again? Most airgun manufacturers around the world no longer produce smooth bore airguns. Some suggested relevant changes:

1. Allow present (and future) airgunners to own rifled airguns.
2. Allow present (and future) airgunners to own .22 airguns.
3. Allow present (and future) airgunners to own multiple airguns.
4. Allow present (and future) airgunners to keep tools, spare parts, equipment and supplies necessary for maintenance of the guns we own.
5. Allow present (and future) airgunners to set up workshops, courses to produce airgunsmiths.
6. Give tax relief to airgunners where possible, especially for hardware and training.
7. Have the Planning Ministry incorporate airgun ranges in all new HDC and other planned communities.
8. Introduce airgunning to Form One students at all secondary schools, perhaps with MILAT involvement.
9. Encourage local steel industry to look at the manufacture of pellets for local and regional sales. As far as we know, there is no competition here, and it is an opportunity to be a foreign exchange earner. Perhaps IAC (International Airgunning Centre)? Why not? At least regional! We have experienced shooters (even Olympic level), coaches, shooting administrators, technical persons. Leverage this resource.

Happy Budget Day. Happy Republic Day.

- Trini Funshooter

18 September, 2008

Game licences on sale

Wildlife Section of Forestry Division, Ministry of Agriculture, began selling state game licences today. You can buy them from Wildlife Section at
- Long Circular Rd, St James,
- Pleasantville, San Fernando,
- Sangre Grande.

And from the District Revenue Offices at
- Chaguanas,
- Siparia,
- Rio Claro,
- Arima,
- Tunapuna

Tobago, the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, 78 Wilson Rd, Highmoor, Scarborough.

They cost $20 per class, and there are five classes of game.

A few quick reminders:

Hunting season is officially Oct 1 2008 – Feb 28th 2009

Agouti, deer, lappe, tatou, wild hog, lizards (iguana, matte, caiman), cage birds and waterfowl. Waterfowl can only be hunted from Nov 1st – Feb 28th

Protected species: monkey, ocelot, anteater, scarlet ibis, pelican.

No hunting in game sanctuaries

Hunting in forest reserves only 5:30am – 7:30pm

No artificial lights while hunting in forest reserves

Every member of a hunting party must possess a state game license.

Read Chap 67:01, Conservation of Wildlife Act (1963)


14 September, 2008

Backyard shooting fun

Today, Kev, Dave and I had some fun backyard shooting. Dave brought paper targets and we shot to our hearts content. Finally shot some of the much touted ‘Baracuda’ pellets. It’s fairly heavy (10.5 gr) and suitable for our powerful rifles (the ads hype quote 1250 fps). Liked them enough to immediately buy a tin of 500 and stashed them away in my preps. Dave was kind enough to sell me from his stash. The paper targets were used to zero the rifles.

Dave shot 2 birds, 1 zandolee, 1 Julie mango (at the stem) 2 coins, 2 plastic bottle covers and a number of baby oranges. One of those birds was a pigeon shot from about +100 metres away. I admire both his speed and accuracy. He even skinned and gutted the birds for our education. There’s no doubt that in a grid-down disaster situation, he’ll be able to survive on his own by stocking the larder with game. He’ll also be an asset to any group that can use those skills. Fortunately the man lives merely a few blocks from me. A pharm tech in training, he hunts, fishes and yes, shoots air guns.

Between the 3 of us we shot about 100-120 pellets.

Beach, bake and shark, flooding

The beach was great yesterday. Warm water, with very few people. The recently bought Frisbee provided fun and exercise. The ladies had their bakes and shark, with copious amounts of mango chutney, shadon beni sauce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pineapple slices, curried mango, garlic sauce, lettuce and shredded cabbage from the famous Richards Bake and Shark.

On our return journey, we attempted to pass through Santa Cruz, but were turned back by rising flood waters on the Santa Cruz Main Road. Through Maraval we encountered a similar challenge just at the WASA water treatment plant opposite Hilsboro. A truck stalled in the water, with drivers of high-clearance vehicles such as SUVs and brand new pickups choosing to wait out the flood. That caused a 25-30 minute delay while flood waters receded.

We arrived home around 3 pm, tired, but happy.

11 September, 2008

Backyard air gun shooting

Went to our friends home yesterday evening and had some shooting fun. We didn’t bring any paper targets so we improvised. Beer bottles, tiles, metal paint cans, clay blocks, old oil plastic bottles. Set them at 44 ft on top of an old drum, with a corrugated metal sheet as backing and concrete wall as backstop. The only non-fun was cleaning up broken beer bottles afterwards.

Both husband and wife carry firearms in their daily life, but only get range practice once a year. Shooting air guns in their own backyard was a welcome fun practice session. After shooting we picked oranges and soursop buds. I had the buds as my nightcap and slept like a baby.

We plan to go to the beach today, and the wives indicated they both want bake and shark. Maybe we can squeeze in some ‘air time’…

09 September, 2008

Preps, pride

Bought some preps last week. Toothbrushes, chess sets, measuring tape, a bale of toilet paper and a Frisbee. Keeping family morale high during an emergency is almost as important as beans, bullets & bandaids. Games are excellent for this reason. The toothbrushes will go in the charity kit. Measuring tape goes in the tool kit, and you can never have too much TP. Especially if it’s less than $75 for 40 rolls.

AirGunsTT congratulates our returning Olympic athletes and wishes them, their families and coaches the very best. Being a blog that’s ostensibly about air guns, we’d like to especially thank our sole Olympic air pistol athlete, Roger Daniel, for representing us on the world stage, and wish him the best in the COPA 2008 in Santo Domingo this week.

- TF

05 September, 2008

Completed will

Finally finished my will. It took several months, and some hard decisions, but it’s finally complete. Now to print, sign, witness and distribute…

After reading about the senior police officer who shot the pastor to death over a love triangle, I wondered if the pastor had prepared a will. Or will his family members and relatives be left to do difficult searches, seek expensive legal help (letters of administration cost thousands), and even fight amongst themselves?

Begin that process today. Don’t die intestate. Leaving your loved ones without clear instructions as to how you’d like your estate divided among them is thoughtless and shortsighted.

- TF

Gold Reserves

Read recently that TnT has 1.9 tonnes of gold reserves which represents .7% of our entire reserves. Interesting. Our neigbour Venezuela holds 33.3% of it’s reserves in gold. Even more interesting is that Suriname holds less gold reserves than us (1.4 tonnes), though they are a gold producing country.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Official_gold_reserves

- TF

04 September, 2008

Gun Storage

A humid climate dictates extreme vigilance for gun storage. Here is general guidance:

1.) Clean thoroughly, lubricate heavily, and inspect frequently.
2.) If storing guns in a vault or a wall cache, invest in a Golden Rod dehumidifier. But don't expect it to be a miracle panacea. Mark your calendar with reminders for monthly inspections!
3.) Never, ever use a muzzle cap for more than an hour or two. They are for use in the field, not for storage!
4.) R.I.G., silica gel, and and VCI paper are your friends.
5.) If you use grease or a heavy coating of oil in a gun bore and/or its chamber, then be sure to tag the gun with a prominent reminder to yourself to remove the grease it before firing. (Not doing so can be a safety hazard!)
5.) Do NOT use oxygen absorbing packets for gun storage! These are designed specifically to kill insect larvae in stored food. These packets use a chemical reaction of moisture, salt, and ferric oxide (rust!) to consume the oxygen in a confined space. These packets can be bad news for stored guns. Instead, silica gel is recommend to prevent rust. Silica gel packets also have the advantage that they can be re-used many times if you dry them out in an oven or a dehydrator overnight. (Since they employ a chemical reduction process, oxygen absorbing packets can only be used once.)

Source: www.survivalblog.com

Upcoming events

Sep 13 - South East Hunters Association will host a Wildlife Seminar at the Tableland High School.

Sep 20 – Nariva Mayaro Hunters Group will host Hunting Dog Show at BP Resource Centre in Mayaro.

- Trini Funshooter

Hunters Club AGM

The hunters club AGM ran over three hours with around 100 members attending. A new executive was elected. The incumbent president was immediately re-nominated, but declined, citing over 25 years of presidency has left him yearning for the burden of leadership to be lifted. Even temporarily.

Issues addressed during the meeting were:
- dogs stolen from hunters and sold “down the main” (Venezuela)
- hunting during ‘exercise only’ period
- hunting during closed season, by poachers
- the benefits of microchipping dogs
- rumour of new policy of all firearms to be taken to Forensic Science lab to tested, with results entered into a ballistics database
- Honorary Game Wardens haven’t been paid their stipend for months. A bureaucratic anomaly that occurred because Forestry Division was removed from Environment Ministry and placed in Agriculture Ministry, but Environment retained the budgeted funds meant for stipends
- the annual uncertainty of whether hunting season will be opened
- the possibility of forest patrols with hunters, game wardens and police officers।

- Trini Funshooter

02 September, 2008

Food Sale at National Flour Mills

Bought some food at National Flour Mills sale last week. They had some really good prices: one dozen (1 litre) juices = $60, 1 dozen (250 ml) juices = $16, six tins sardines = $18, three boxes (340 gm) cereals = $35. The cost is about one third to half of average supermarket prices. My gratitude to National Flour Mills on this initiative, especially so close to the opening of the school year.

I suggest you buy as much as you can afford, putting some away for emergencies, and charity. Yes, give some to that poor, single-parent family in your neighbourhood. If you don’t know that family, then ask at the hairdressers, or the barbers. They’ll know.

- Trini Funshooter

Hunters club meeting

Going to a hunters club meeting tonight. It’s also their AGM and I hope they will allow me to join. Hunting skills would be quite handy and valuable. I’m told it’s also a lot of fun. A fun skill that puts food on the table? Sounds good to me. Though I suspect it will be more challenging with air guns. The president is Kenneth Noriega, a 72 year old semi-retired auto mechanic, avid hunter and former forestry officer.

I found out today that hunters usually fall into three groups: dog runners, trappers and sentries. Sentries usually cut branches or the trunks of young trees and tie them with ropes into trees. These contraptions are called ‘scaffolding’ and the hunters/sentries sit on them, waiting patiently for hours on end for the game to approach a feeding site.

- Trini Funshooter

01 September, 2008

TT Coast Guard Commissioning Ceremony photo

The Coast Guard parade at Staubles Bay



Attended the TT Coast Guard 46th anniversary commissioning ceremony. Unquestionably one of the best events on the national calendar. The military parade was tight and precise. The speeches were short, appropriate and bearable (wife commented that henceforth all speakers should be at a podium placed in the open air, in direct sunlight, to elicit brevity).

The operations display by the Special Naval Unit was a scenario of a woman kidnapped at a function in the company of her bodyguard. Her minder and several bystanders were shot during the snatch, with a CG medical team taking them away on stretchers. She was whisked away in a small boat, and quickly transferred to a larger boat. The SNU’s response was rapid and overwhelming. They used two tactical five-man units arriving in inflatable speedy craft. One unit rescued the hostage on the larger vessel, while the other apprehended the kidnappers on the smaller. An Air Guard helicopter provided support, intelligence and overwatch while two TT Police Service vehicles arrived to take the bad guys away to justice. Some in attendance wondered aloud about the uncharacteristic speed of the police, making suggestions that perhaps it was TTCG personnel disguised in Police uniform and vehicles.

An old WW2 3.5 inch anti aircraft gun was so loud when fired (even with a one quarter charge) that many unprepared guests were left gasping, with Guardsmen smiling knowingly at each other.

The atmosphere and ambience was unusual; spotlessly clean, almost clinical surroundings on a military base at the waters edge, with not a sign of camouflage BDUs. Coast Guard ships anchored at the jetty with a beautiful sunset on the horizon. Yet the top military brass and other security experts mixed quite easily and informally with the civilians present. Even though career military persons tend to be sombre, humourless types, the after-parade reception was replete with jokes, banter and raucous laughter.

The food and service were both of such a high standard that even though I attend numerous functions quite regularly I could not remember the last time I had a mix of such well prepared, tasty and nutritious food and drink (they even had coconut water and Supligen) served by such helpful, courteous and attentive serving staff.

The pride felt and openly expressed by civilian guests was heartening and unusual as the general public is usually wont to criticize the protective services, sometimes with good reason. The skills, professionalism and attention to detail displayed, coupled with the historic loyalty for which TTCG is known (remember 1970?) makes me feel both proud and (I never thought I’d say this) secure as a citizen of this fine nation. Maybe Acting Commissioner Philbert, who was present, could have the TTCG train some of his officers. One would also hope that Minister Joseph wasn’t merely espousing platitudes when he praised the TTCG and announced planned increases in resources for them.

In attendance were the Minister of National Security, Sen Martin Joseph, Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Donna Cox, Chief of Defence Staff Brig Edmund Dillon, Commanding Officer of the TTR, Col Maundy, head of the SAUTT, Brig Peter Joseph, Commanding Officer of the TT Air Guard, Group Capt Moore, Acting Police Commissioner James Philbert and many former senior military officers including Brig Carl Alfonso, Rear Admiral Kelshall, Commodore Franklyn (presently IMA exec dir).

I unreservedly congratulate the Commanding Officer, Captain J Ramoutar and the Executive Officer, Commander K Huggins and all ranks of the TT Coast Guard.

-Trini Funshooter


Welcome to AirgunsTT. We are a Trinidad and Tobago based community of airgun shooters. Coming from diverse backgrounds, we have one thing in common: we enjoy shooting airguns.

This blog is an attempt to chronicle our fun filled weekends. Hopefully it will also be a meeting point to share knowledge and experiences between beginners and veteran shooters alike.

- Trini Funshooter
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