27 February, 2009

Another Citizen Defends Self

Another citizen has defended himself against an armed criminal. This time the robber was shot to death with his own gun, in the Snake Valley area of Laventille.


A friend who works in the health care sector brought me some ibruprofen, eye drops and antacid. I was very grateful and immediately stashed them away. Got a new thermometer too. Cleaned out the closet set aside for emergency supplies, and rearranged everything. It’s now a little easier to access preps for rotation.

It is a dangerous idea to put your family’s survival at risk by assuming you can eat someone else’s food in an emergency. The only food you can count on is what you have stored away. During emergencies, most people are reluctant to share the little they have. Don’t count on charity.


The hunting season closes today. Chap 67:01 Conservation of Wildlife Act. Congratulations to all successful hunters during this past season, hoping you had fun. Poachers will, of course, ignore this friendly reminder. Don’t forget to turn in your mandatory forms to the Wildlife Division. Failure to do so can result in a fine of $200 or you can find yourself in front of a Magistrate.

19 February, 2009

Farmer Defends Self

As citizens become aware of their duty to protect themselves, loved ones and property, along with the realization that the police are incapable of PREVENTING crime, we may see a surge in self-defence shootings like this one, reported in the Guardian:

“Cocoa farmer shoots robber A cocoa farmer shot and killed a man yesterday morning after he attempted to rob his warehouse in Turere Village. Sheldon Brandon Jack, of Turere Village, succumbed to his injuries at the Sangre Grande Hospital. Police said a 64-year-old cocoa and coffee farmer was confronted by a robber who broke into his warehouse. The farmer shot him a report said. Jack was rushed to the hospital, where he died. Insp Roy, Sgt Paul, and a party of officers from the Sangre Grande Police Station responded. The farmer told police he had been robbed numerous times recently and decided to stay in the warehouse. The police confiscated the farmer’s firearm after the incident. Cpl Christopher Fuentes, of the Sangre Grande Police Station, is continuing investigations.”

Signaling to all and sundry that the farmer is now unarmed, is probably not a good move by the reporter and indicates a lack training or a lack of compassion, and irresponsibility. Now the dead criminal’s friends can exact revenge with impunity, or other opportunistic criminals can complete the job without fear.

If the Police Commissioner truly wants to significantly lower the crime rate, then formulating and implementing policy that does not automatically disarm the victim will be crucial in that regard. In fact, if a legally armed crime victim shoots an attacker with a shotgun, then that person should be allowed to immediately purchase a handgun, as his/her life may now be in danger from reprisal from the criminal’s cohort/gang.

What does the police gain from giving that vital piece of information to the reporter? What does the public gain from knowing the victim is now unarmed? Cui bono? To whose benefit? Only the criminals benefit from that info.

Just as the media association asked their members to refrain from reporting the names of the poisons ingested by suicide victims, so too, they can ask editors and reporters to desist from publishing the (seemingly automatic) disarming of crime victims involved in a shooting.

At least the Express didn’t publish that little vital detail in its report.

11 February, 2009

Preps storage

After rotating some canned foods recently, I observed the following:

1. There are now several boxes, bags and buckets of preps.
2. Even though there’s a computerized inventory, finding one item at the bottom of a bucket involves effort.
3. Having to move boxes, bags and buckets is no fun.
4. There’s a need for a better system, especially for rotation.

I’d welcome any low-cost ideas that doesn’t involve major upheaval.


The hunting season closes on 28 February. Remember to fill out your mandatory forms to return to the Wildlife Division. Failure to do so can result in a fine of $200 or you can be taken to court.

The East St George Hunters Group family day will be on 28 March, 1-6pm at the George Boyce Recreation Ground, Arima Old Road.

09 February, 2009

Soldiers abducting civilian minors?

“With both hands tied behind their backs, two friends were shot dead and their bodies dumped in a citrus plantation, miles away from their homes.

They were snatched while walking along Coffee Street, San Fernando, on Saturday night and bundled into a seven-seater van. An hour before, three teenagers had also been abducted by men reportedly wearing soldier uniforms, beaten and dropped off at various locations, police said.”

The three teens were all 17 years old. Legally, they are all minors. They were beaten, and dropped off at various locations. Reportedly by soldiers in uniform!

Now one must not believe everything reported in a newspaper, but there were witnesses, this time. Our soldiers, whose purpose is “…to provide a safe and secure environment for the well being of all citizens…” Hmmmmm.

Will we become like Argentina, during their ‘dirty war’, with civilians that ‘disappeared’, courtesy the military?

So now the citizenry must not just protect ourselves against rampaging murderous criminals and police ‘stray’ bullets, but also our own soldiers too! Incredible. In 2006, TT Defence Force soldiers were charged with kidnapping and murder. Time for the population to be armed, in an orderly manner, with the appropriate training and safeguards. If the bulk of the law-abiding population is armed (or at least assumed to be) then day-to-day interaction with those charged with our safety, security and wellbeing will be more pleasant, polite and–at the very least–professional.

We should not continue to beg to be treated right. We must create the environment to ensure that it happens. Deal with others exactly as they are, not how we would like them to be. So if rogue police officers and soldiers act like criminals, then we must treat them as such. And by ‘we’, I mean the citizenry. Don’t expect their colleagues to do for us, what we must do for ourselves.

08 February, 2009

Civil unrest in Madagascar

Police in Madagascar today fired on unarmed, peaceful protestors, killing at least 25 and injuring over 80. The world’s fourth largest island has experienced looting, arson, widespread protests in the last two weeks. Over 90% of the 10,000 recorded flora and fauna, are found nowhere else in the world. The country, with a population of over 20 million has a history of coups and counter coups. At first glance the situation appears quite complicated. See story here, and here.

Andrydago, a blogger and lawyer, posts about dramatic inflation that accompanies the unrest. All the prices of goods are increasing. “This is the case especially for rice, sugar, yoghurt, milk, butter, oil and gas.”

05 February, 2009

TT Customs and Excise breaching airport security?

Are TT Customs & Excise officers breaching security at Piarco International Airport? According to this story in the Express, two TTCE officers and a female civilian abducted an Airports Authority Security Force officer from his post, bundled him into a marked TTCE van, beat him and took him to a TTCE office where he was beaten some more. He was eventually rescued by his colleagues and taken to hospital where he was treated and discharged. A senior manager at the airport called the abductors “rogue elements” in the service. Read full story here.

Rotated some canned foods out of the preps today noticed a weevil crawling around. Searched and found the source: two bags of lentils and yellow split peas. Rather than toss them out, I soaked them in water, and will boil and freeze them. No wastage. Need to find a way to kill the eggs before storing. Heard of the efficacy of diatomaceous earth, but not sure that it is available locally. Seeking local solutions for local problems. If anyone has ideas, I’m willing to listen.

One should not live on canned foods alone, so acquiring fresh fruit, herbs and vegetables is imperative during a long emergency or extended grid-down situation. This is where the importance of a kitchen garden becomes apparent. This brings us to the necessity of seed storage, tools, fertilizer, etc. But all the gardening and farming preparations in the world is useless without skills and experience. Waiting until an emergency to begin growing food will probably ensure starvation. Practice now. Learn what works and what doesn’t.

03 February, 2009

Customs and Excise Exhibition

TT Customs & Excise officer displaying what looks to be an air rifle to onlookers at the TT Customs & Excise Exhibition last week on the Brian Lara Promenade, in downtown Port of Spain. From this Newsday photo it appears as though the officer is handling the rifle in an unsafe manner, by pointing the muzzle in the direction of the persons present. It may just be the angle of the photo though. Regardless, it’s in a busy public area with hundreds of pedestrians, so there is no ‘down range’ to point the rifle safely. As such, he may have pointed up or (less preferable, but safer than horizontal) down. Even our protective services professionals need firearms safety training. The caption also incorrectly labels the air rifle a ‘firearm’.

A Civilian Marksmanship Program would educate the public enough to be able immediately spot the unsafe practices of those entrusted with the public safety and security.

We haven’t been shooting much over the past couple weeks, as rain, family and professional commitments has kept us busy.

Last Friday, Republic Bank limited withdrawals to $5,000 per customer, according to Caroline Kissoon of the Express newspaper. Despite assurances from Anna-Maria Garcia-Brooks, group marketing and communications manager, the run on the bank continued yesterday.

Yes folks, it has started. When the largest commercial bank in the country with branches in several other Caribbean countries, experiences a loss of depositor confidence, then what follows will not be pretty. Can this lead to a banking panic, where there’s a run on several banks at the same time? We’ll see.

Turn some of your paper investments into tangibles. Stockpile food, water, tools, fuel, first aid supplies, drugs your family use and have a way to protect your family and property. Even if you cannot legally own a gun, then co-operating with your neighbours will gretly enhance your chances of protecting your family.

An effective neighbourhood watch programme will reveal both strengths and weaknesses in your security preparations. There may be neighbours with guns of which you aren’t aware. Hunters, police and soldiers on special duty, retired police, businesspersons, sport shooters et al, may all be quietly living in your midst, armed, and an untapped resource for community defence.

All will be reluctant to share this info with you, due to OPSEC and our dramatically rising violent crime rate. However, if handled with tact, and the necessary confidentiality assurances given, then some may be coaxed into being part of a well run NW programme.

Hoplophobes may be your second biggest obstacles though. The first being criminals living in your neighbourhood, along with their relatives who encourage and condone their activities.

There are a number of options in dealing with this problem, which will be discussed in a subsequent post.
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