Episode-627- Listener Calls 3-18-11 — 43 Comments

  1. Hello Everyone,

    Jack mentioned door security, and while someone can certainly pick your lock, one of the most common (statistically) methods of forced entry is kick-ins.

    Let me suggest that everyone inspect the structure of their door jams (behind the trim). The lack of structure that exists in most every door is CRIMINAL. Long screws are good, but if they are just holding a 2 inch piece of brass (or even steel) with very little area to a flimsy piece of wood, you’re one kick away from having no door security at all. Even with long screws, the typical shimming distance is going to create a distance over which those screws can bend and deform allowing the deadbolt to slip past the striker plate.

    ITS Tactical advertises door reinforcement hardware for improving this (although I think a real steel frame and all steel door is better), and there are other brands out there as well. For the cost of around $100, and a few hours, you can significantly improve your exterior door security.

    No door is going to withstand dedicated attacks, but every bit buys time for you to apply other security measures (whatever that may be).

    • @KAM good stuff!

      Futher though here is a low cost solution. Make up a nice sign to put on ever door that simply says,

      “warning – venomous snakes kept on premises”

      While not fool proof and nothing of course is I bet that will work better than beware of dog.

      • @Jack,

        Sure, whatever works. 🙂

        I’ve installed two of the door reinforcements myself, and I’m satisfied with the design and that it will improve the robustness of the door frame.


        • @Jack,

          I happened to be at a Gun show this weekend, and I saw a sign that said “If you open this door you will be killed.” in both English and Spanish. Talk about direct. 🙂 I’m thinking the neighbors might not take too well to that one.

  2. Since firearms are registered, does law enforcement look at these to find weapons from an individual…how do you explain not having that weapon in your possession if it is cached?

    • @Lynn, Firearms are not registered. Now some states do but when you buy a gun it is not “registered”

      • What was all that paperwork I had to complete at the gun shop to get my little .22???

        • @Lynn that is a form 4473 but it stays with the seller it doesn’t go to the government. In theory the seller can be asked to provide purchase info but this is generally done like when a gun is stolen or used in a crime.

          When the seller calls your info in they don’t give the guns serial number or anything. The seller just verifies YOU personally can buy a gun it isn’t even reported that you bought one, just you are trying to buy one. May be you fail the check, may be you change your mind during the call, etc. The form stays with the shop owner. Again the government can request this info but they don’t just get it, it doesn’t go into a database (not yet anyway), etc.

          The info remains private between you and the shop unless the shop owner is asked to provide it. Now could the g-men go get them all and use them as a list, yes but my god what a mess that would be. It isn’t like everyone in a town buys all their guns from one store, never moves, never sells one privately, etc. I have bought guns in Pennsylvania and Texas at many different shops. To find out what guns I personally own, they would have to go to each individual shop and manually sort through tons of papers just looking for me. They would have to do with with every FFL in the nation as they don’t know where I did or didn’t do business. Not to mention I own guns bought for me as gifts by parents, I have guns I inherited from grandparents. Some of those were bought before 4473 existed. I have purchased privately sold firearms with no paperwork, I have purchased two Mausers made in the 1890s considered antiques, there is no paper trail on those either.

          This was alluded to in Red Dawn (the Cuban general tells a lackey to got to the sporting goods store and get the forms 4473 to locate the privately owned guns) and while it would be a starting point to find gun owners the process would be far from easy.

          Now if they ever computerize 4473 that could be a game changer. Right now if you have a gun tracking it back to the point of origin is relatively easy, tracking a man back to all his guns is all but impossible. That is the way it should be, so LEOs can find out where a criminally used gun came from as they should be able to. But my personal rights are not stomped on to accommodate that.

        • @Jack,

          I understand what you are saying is correct, but isn’t this a distinction without a difference?

          You mentioned 4473 not being computerized. I have to assume you are correct not knowing anything contrary to this, but whoever is on the other end of the call with the firearms dealing is most certainly typing your name and address into their computer in order to perform the check, and get the “ok” for the dealer to sell to you.

          I find it hard to believe that the information input on the checker side is not known/stored/accessible.

          Again, I’m not saying this is a violation of anyone’s rights, but it is a potential liability. I don’t think it is safe to say we are anonymous in regards to our firearm ownership. That is unless you’ve purchased all of your firearms through private transfer, gifts or inheritance.

        • One caveat.
          The 4473 forms must be relinquished to the BATFE if and when the FFL holder goes out of business; therefore, stick with established gun shops who are likely to be around a while and who, in the event of shutting down their business will be relinquishing their forms by the thousands or tens of thousands,
          Purchase from a private seller if your state allows such a transfer, although the majority of states do.

  3. What Jack is saying about the 4473 is absolutely correct. I am a Firearms dealer. When I call NICS they do not request the firearm info. All they want to know about the purchase is hand gun, long gun or receiver. If a gun recovered by a LEO they contact the BATF. BATF contacts the manufacturer by Fax and they only have 24 hours to respond with the name of the distributor said gun was shipped to. The distributor than has 24 hours to respond where they shipped it to. Than the BATF will send a fax to the FFL dealer or just visit his or her location to find out who bought the gun. Although the law says that the manufacture, distributor and FFL dealer have 24 hours to respond to the BATF fax. It has been my experience that this can and does happen in just a matter of hours. There is no place that anyone can contact to find out how many guns a particular person owns.

      • @KAM also you said,

        “The point is, if they want this information, they have access to it. The statement “There is no place that anyone can contact to find out how many guns a particular person owns.”

        Why not? Are you saying that no record of your being sent through NICS is kept, and that no one has access to that information? I find that hard to believe (excepting inherited, private sale, etc). ”

        Well now that’s the point now isn’t it? Guns are privately sold, (legally) every day, guns are traded with others, (I don’t want this 7mm Mag, you don’t like your 308, etc), guns are bought with no paperwork at gun shows, guns are given as “gifts”, guns are inherited by sons and daughters.

        It is a pointless endeavor to worry about this, we have much bigger fish to fry. Shit if you have a hunting license or concealed carry permit you have a gun. The reality is I don’t give a shit if the government knows I have a gun, nor should anyone else. If I did my truck would not have Oathkeepers, NRA and Appleseed stickers on the back window and I wouldn’t wear my “I’m in the NRA and I vote” t-shirt.

    • Well, given that every time you purchase a firearm, a NICS check is made, and your name and address are provided (some people might choose to supply their SSN) as part of the check it is very reasonable to assume there is a record of THAT on their end.

      Person X has had Y NICS checks and purchased Z Long Arms, Q Pistols, etc. They also know what dealer sent the request and therefore sold the firearm.

      So, why would anyone assume that any government entity couldn’t access this information? In fact, as I recall on another (firearms) posting board, a poster relayed an anecdote about the BATF showing up asking to confirm that he actually possessed the weapons he had purchased.

      So, I don’t think there is any searching around needed. I can’t say for certain that they maintain these lists of purchasers, but why wouldn’t they? It could have legitimate Law Enforcement purposes. Access the record of your NICS checks and they would know what type (not what specifically) of firearm you bought and from who–and as stated, they can demand further information from the dealer.

      The point is, if they want this information, they have access to it. The statement “There is no place that anyone can contact to find out how many guns a particular person owns.”

      Why not? Are you saying that no record of your being sent through NICS is kept, and that no one has access to that information? I find that hard to believe (excepting inherited, private sale, etc).

      Now, all this being said…I don’t think it means all that much. I don’t think it should keep anyone from purchasing a firearm, because the best thing in my mind that could happen is that about 95% of all US citizens are listed there as owning a firearm.

      I’m not posting any of this to foster some sort of paranoia that confiscation is around the corner, but to suggest that the government doesn’t have all sorts of records about us makes no sense to me. Google, Amazon, and probably many others have information about what we buy, look at on the internet, etc, etc, etc.

      • SOOOOOO.. someone shows up at my door (hypothetical) and says I see you own such and such guns and we have come to confiscate them. I reply “gee…I don’t have those anymore…I sold em at a garage sale”. Would they just say OK and walk away or would I be arrested and my home searched?

        • @Lynn,

          Well, it probably isn’t likely that they would ever show up at your home (to confirm I’m not wearing a tin-foil hat 🙂 ), but it HAS apparently happened to some people.

          That being said, I believe the BATF or whoever would have almost no resistance to getting a search warrant. They will have a sympathetic judge all picked out, if they really want to do it. But again–they’ve got better things to do than randomly select you or me for harassment.

          It also is a fact that people in Louisiana had their guns illegally confiscated at gunpoint by law enforcement during Katrina’s aftermath (as was talked about on the show recently). Different subject, but it speaks to the potential for wrong-action on the part of the authorities.

        • @KAM, you stated,

          “It also is a fact that people in Louisiana had their guns illegally confiscated at gunpoint by law enforcement during Katrina’s aftermath (as was talked about on the show recently). Different subject, but it speaks to the potential for wrong-action on the part of the authorities.”

          Actually it is the same subject and why I don’t give a shit about something like a 4473, when a government confiscates guns they just do it, they don’t use a list, they just go take them from anyone that has them.

        • @Jack,

          Well, that’s a good point. And I suppose your underlying point is that when that occurs, all bets are off. Those LEOs were literally violating people’s direct rights to firearm ownership, and illegally searching and seizing from them.

          Like you’ve said, when you’re faced with that sort of blatant illegal action with a gun pointed at your face, your best bet is probably to say “Ok, here you go” and then depend on prior preps, else you might get shot.

          For the record, I agree that the 4473 form should NOT be a barrier to anyone wishing to buy a firearm.

      • @KAM sure that could be the case but the data is all but useless. A 4473 call is more like a credit check than proof anyone bought anything. The person on the call doesn’t get the gun’s model, serial number, caliber, etc. They know if you are trying to buy a hand gun, long gun or receiver.

        So what good is that? “I see you purchased a long gun in 1989”, response, “really what kind of gun, what caliber, 1989 was a long time ago, come to think of it I don’t think I ever did buy that gun, I think I found a scratch on the stock while the guy was on the phone and he wouldn’t reduce the price so I didn’t buy it, I sold all my guns anyway to pay for surgery, where, oh at the gun show”.

        If they ever try to seize weapons 4473 won’t be the issue. Making ownership illegal will and no matter how they choose to find owners it doesn’t matter because it is a line I will not allow to be crossed by my government on my watch.

        • @Jack,

          I’m not intending to calculate the odds of this happening, but rather pointing out that paper trails do exist, and the lack of full computerization is a non-barrier between an individual citizen and a government with unlimited resources should the unlikely event occur that its gaze is directed at you.

          I agree that we can’t spend our time worrying too much about this, and as I said, I’m not stating any of this to scare or deter anyone from owning firearms, nor claiming it is likely to happen. I’m just trying to drill down to see exactly what the facts are.

          This next part, I want to word this carefully as not to imply that anyone has or would do anything illegal.

          What seems to be behind your statements is the fact that none of the information they have PROVES anything on its own, and one could choose to simply refuse any questioning by any Authority. However, LYING (not that ANYONE has done this) to a Federal officer (I believe) is a crime in itself (see Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby, etc). My point is, depending on the situation, I would caution everyone to be extremely sensitive to what they say if they should ever be questioned.

          Someone COULD theoretically claim to have sold an item at some subsequent date to another individual, or to not have purchased it, although I think that could be confirmed by a trip to the place that sold it. My point however is if you start playing games with the authorities, they are likely to remind you that they are in fact not only a player, but a referee as well.

          My point is that if you find yourself being questioned for any reason, you’re probably already in deep, deep trouble, and simply saying “Oh, I got rid of it” won’t likely be the end of that story. If that’s a lie, then you’ve probably created a whole bunch more problems for yourself. Saying nothing is probably a wiser choice.

          Again–I’m not trying to foster any paranoia or worry anyone or predict that any of this will ever happen. I’m speaking about this academically, not as a warning.

  4. About converting lawn to garden. First, you can overplant the grass with some kind of legume, like hairy vetch or red clover, plus other soil improving plants, like buckwheat. This can be mowed periodically and left to break down on the surface. This will grow topsoil for you.
    Start by making one garden bed at a time. Either cut and remove sod, and compost it or invert and stack it somewhere to break down. Or do the lasagna method and layer paper, cardboard, aged manure, leaves, grass clipping, etc. directly on top. Then add a final layer of good garden soil. Plant it. Then start a second bed. Continue to make beds until you can’t manage to maintain anymore.
    Plant fruit trees, berries, whatever does well in your area. Set your mower high and rake the cut grass around trees as mulch. The mulch will kill the grass and build your soil. Mulch with leaves, straw, or even old carpet to cover pathways. This will keep grass down and you will not have muddy walkways. Look at YouTube or the library for more info. Love the show Jack.

  5. I’ve heard some concerns about vacuum sealing ammunition. The concern was that the ammunition could somehow be damaged (bullets shifted in or out of the case, powder messed with, etc). I’m not overly concerned about this but would like to find some actual test results. This is assuming a food grade vacuum sealing unit is used.

    A side note, most of the caller volumes were fine today. There was 1 person who had some fluctuations but that was it.


    • @Steelheart, some people voice concern about everything, it is just what they do. There is no concern or problem with vac sealing ammo. It has been done by many people. Just check out a few forums.

    • @Steelheart when I read your post it sounds like you’re talking about putting the rounds into a vac seal bag loose-not in a box. While I agree with jack and think the rounds would be fine, if you were worried about it and wanted to provide some extra protection you could leave them in the box they came in or maybe put them in some kind of small metal or plastic box and put the box in the vac seal bag. Obviously you’d want to make sure the box would fit in your pipe if you were caching like jack was talking about in this episode. Or here’s a thought- get a small length of pipe with caps for each end that is smaller than the pipe you’re putting everything in to cache. Put your loose rounds in that, vac seal it, and slide it in the big pipe. Then you get more efficient storage over a square box. This pipe would need to be little smaller in diameter and obviously quite a bit shorter. If you put some kind of screw caps on the ends you could even take it with you to carry the ammo.

  6. I am a public official who has been in turmoil about how to spread the word publicly. I also understand that a public official may not be able to address the subject straight on so I am wondering how to begin and as so wouldn’t mind talking to Captain AJ. Maybe starting a thread for public officials might be feasable.

  7. Hey guys…this is for the comments on the “Earthbox” mentioned in today’s show. Jack, you mentioned concern about possible BPA in the “rubbermade” type containers. I found this from Sterilite:

    What is the material on this box – Polypropylene or HDPE – and is this plastic recyclable?
    asked 1 month ago By JayB9 – Chicago on Sterilite 10-Gallon Tote Box, Set of 9

    answer 1
    Our storage products are made of Polypropylene plastic. No PVC’s, Latex, Teflon, polycarbonates, Phthalates chemicals, bisphenol A (BPA), or antibacterial chemicals are used in our manufacturing process.

    Our products are100% recyclable. The #5 triangular recycling symbol may be found imprinted on the bottom of all products and lids.
    answered 4 days ago By Your Sterilite Team”

    from this website –

    I couldn’t find any info on any Rubbermaid products but if anyone is concerned about BPA…but we know that Sterilites are BPA free.

    I am actually one of those people who decided to try to make it myself 😉 It cost all of about $8 bucks to do it and I’ve got a video going up on youtube on TheXGrasshopper channel this week.

    Also here is a review of the Earthbox :

    In there it states that the Earthbox is made of “Made of food-safe, UV stabilized, re-cyclable plastic” which leads me to believe they probably do hold up better than something like the Sterilite container…time will tell.

    I chose to build my own solely on the premise of saving money. The Earthbox sales for $29.95 add appx $10 for shipping and the $8 to $10 it cost to build your own may sway your choice…maybe not though. I am all on board with Jack’s idea of buying quality to last over cheap crap…but i figured I’d give it a shot.

    The channel will be follow me through my first attempt at growing our own food here in my small apartment on the Costal Bend of Texas. Thanks to Jack for inspiring me to action!


  8. A few years ago on the Discovery Channel there was a show called It Takes a Thief. The 2 guys would case a neighborhood and find a house to “rob”. Then 1 of them would go in and talk to the owners and then set cameras in the house. Owners were not told when it would happen. It always amazed me of the speed and how much stuff they would get away with. Stupid things would get him in, unlocked door, unlocked window even on the second floor. Biggest thing I found that I do is the privacy my backyard provides, it’s also private for a thief to work all day long back there.

    Favorite episode they broke into a police station.

    • @Chris I remember that, what I found funny was how when the windows and doors were locked the guy would just smash a window and go in. The owners were always offended and shocked by this as if a criminal was supposed to respect glass.

      In many ways security is an illusion.

      • Locks keep honest people honest.

        With the fundamental truth that “Locks keep honest people honest”, it often becomes painfully evident that anyplace can be gotten into. That said; some places are a lot easier than others. What I would like to offer to the readers here are a few small ideas for you to look up and apply to you own property to make it stronger or add to you kit bag for those worse case scenarios.

        While there a number of ways into your property: a FBI hostage rescue guy might blow in a door with explosives; a crack-head will smash in a window and only need to reach in to run away with your BOSE DVD player; a New Mexico Institute of Mining’s graduate of Mineral Engineering might bore their way in with a portable large-bore line-boring machine. All possibilities but there is also a profession that gets to do this daily and they are often truly intuitive in identifying the easiest route of entry or the least destructive method of entry. I am referring to firefighters.

        Not only can they axe their way through a wall (or floor, roof, door or window) to get you out but they can also A-tool their way into a business without bringing down the store front just to check out a false alarm…

        They make their money employing what they call Size Up or what a spec-ops guy might call Target Analysis to choose the right tools and entry point for the job.
        Just look up “forcible entry” or “forcible entry size up” with any search engine.
        Lots of articles out there about firefighters hitting hardened doors.

  9. Great show as always! Couple thoughts on locks and security. I’ve found it indispensable to have a Dyno Kwick lock pick and a couple slim jims in my arsenal. The DK is pocket sized, stores in itself and is cheap. It will open a file cabinet-style lock in a 10 seconds; this gets into your gun box, alarm cabinet, anything with a paddle lock. Pick padlocks, your trailer lock(your example), bike locks, etc. Slim jims, one for your car, one for home, opens up the bulk of cars in just a minute or two with practice. I’ve popped locks on $30k sports cars in 30 seconds, my own truck in 5 minutes, a friends jeep in 6-7 minutes(just have to find the right spot. A lot cheaper than AAA and faster. (check local laws or hide your tools well) Another cheap security fix is a heavy gauge steel security ‘door'(Lowes item 21288). As little as $85 at the big box stores, it’s essentially installed like a screen door. The metal screen will stand up to some heavy abuse and you can see and hear safely behind it without opening it because no bat or crowbar is going to make it through and it might even give a person with a gun pause. I fabricated fine mesh screens for mine so I could leave the front door open and get breezes just like a normal screen door. Has two lock cutouts already in place for deadbolt/lockset and a steel frame that simply bolts to your door frame using long one-way security bolts. Double-keyed deadbolts should always be used on any door with glass in it or with sidelights. An internal key should be kept above or to the side of the door for easy access in an emergency but out of reach of a hand coming through the window. It’s a good idea to have security film on downstairs or easily accessible windows but it can make exiting during a home invasion or fire more risky. Install an ‘egress’ window in each bedroom or common area. These are fitted with special hinges and handles that allow the whole window to be swung out of the frame for quick evacuation. Required by code in rooms with windows too small for normal egress, it’s often cheaper than renovating to accomodate a larger window and much safer/faster to get out of than a normal window.

  10. As for grubs and other bad insects…. I can’t say enough good things about beneficial nematodes. You barely snuck it in to the segment but it’s probably the most efficient.

    Ohio State Umiversity has great information.

    Couple of things…
    – Use a 10x hand lens to insure the vitality of the nematodes.
    – store at proper temperature.
    – apply when soil temp is 60-85 F.
    – wet soil prior to application.
    – get a combination that includes steinernema carpacapse, steinernema feltiae and hertorhahditis bacteriphora.

    For potato beetles, I spray in late March/early April for Oklahoma. For grubs, early June.

    Nematodes go after a large group of pests including crickets, termites, weevil and beetles.

  11. Just a few comments on EMP and Faraday cages from a degreed EE. I’m not trying to start a whizzing contest here, but this subject always seems to bring out all of the “experts”. I’m not an expert but do understand the physics and have done quite a bit of work with equipment in the past.
    Faraday cages do not have to be grounded. Generally if you have a problem with a cage and grounding it seems to fix the problem, then the real problem is a leak. At high frequencies it only takes a tiny break in the copper foil or sheet to allow energy into the interior of the box.
    For those who insist grounding is required, I would like an answer to a simple question. How can electronics aboard aircraft and in satellites be EMP protected? There’s no grounding available in those instances.

  12. Hey all, great episode Jack! I like in zone 9 of southern Florida and we have crab apples that grow here natural. Would it be possible to grow say a Red Delicious apple which otherwise wouldn’t grow this far south by grafting it to a native crab apple?

    • @Nathan, honestly there is only one way to find out. That said there are a LOT better varieties of apples then Red Delicious for the home grower anywhere.

  13. Cutting to the chase re: caching firearms

    1. Federal officers take great offense when people lie to them;
    2. Dipshits with legislative power made lying to a Federal agent an
    arrestable offense;
    3. When questioned (a) admit nothing; (b) keep quiet; (c) request an
    attorney. If you feel you must provide an answer state “I don’t know” or
    “I don’t remember”, then revert to (b)above.
    4. The debate about firearms purchase records is simply a verbal (or
    written) exercise in “wishful thinking”. When the Feds decide they want
    a database of firearms owners they will gather all the records from
    everywhere they need to, feed them into a supercomputer, along with
    census records, credit card records, concealed carry licenses, etc. and
    shazzam they now have a comprehensive list of millions of firearms
    owners with their respective addresses for the gungrabber goons to

    Solution: Cache early, cache often, and not on your own property. Be prepared so when the day comes you can give the Federally jackbooted thug a blank look in response to his interrogation about your firearms with the
    confidence you have planned well and in advance of the visit and your caches will not likely be uncovered. Jest one man’s opinion…..

  14. Hey Jack, about those “Grubs” in the garden. Up here in Wisconsin they are usually Japanese beetles, the milky spore works great to kill them off, and since it grows on it’s own it eventually expands into the neighbor’s yard as well. Great stuff to kill of those damn little leaf munchers!

    As always love the show, especially the call ins!

    (though I still miss the road rage, every now and then)

  15. Jack,

    I just wanted to respond to the caller seeking to return to school. I was in a similar situation almost a year ago. After nine years in law enforcement, I decided to attend law school. I am thirty-something, married and have a little girl. I am also a homeowner. In the decision process, my wife and I decided that we wanted to cause as little disruption to our little girl’s life as possible. We decided to keep our home. The law school I attend is 164 miles from my home. We looked at the traditional options, apartments, condos, and town-homes, none of which were economically feasible.
    In the end, I purchased a 33ft travel trailer and live in that Mon – Fri. I stay at a camp ground which includes water, sewer, trash, electric, internet and cable in the lot rent, which only $375 per month. This option has worked nicely for us. It has allowed us to keep our home, and our equity, my wife has been able to maintain her job.
    Camper living is great. It is quiet, and secluded; as opposed to rowdy college apt complexes. I am in NC, so the winters are mild, which should be a consideration for those considering this option. I would be glad to be more specific, but will end for now. Thanks for your show, I have been listening for years.

  16. Will a sod cutter work on century old grass? Currently the grass is not more than 2 inches tall. My family has some forested acreage acquired back from the homestead act and I want to practice permaculture in the area my great grandfather pastured his cows (on the edge of the forest) 110 years ago. Last year was a flop when the grass outgrew my buckwheat, amaranth, popcorn, and snap peas. I’m hoping a sod cutter might give me the advantage at least until a cover crop gets going. I think I remember in an episodes about a year ago Jack said this type of grass can have a root system that extends beyond 10 feet.

  17. I just wanted to say that we have had horrible trouble with Jap Beetles (grubs). I thought I heard Jack say in an episode that roses kill them, but they seem to be killing the roses. They also devastate the potatoes… I’ll have to try to get some of those nematodes and the milky spore to get some stuff done there, but they can do some damage to the garden. Oh, they also do a number on the crab apple trees.

    We’ve tried the phermone bags too, I think they do just attract more than they help. Although I will say that the fish love to eat them, so if you are doing hydroponics, that’d be a great source of feed!