How Takoma Park Got Religion

MCSM at the Takoma Park Folk Festival 9/11/2005
OR two weeks after Katrina, how TP got "Religion"

The MCSM crew had their annual tent and information table at the Takoma Park Folk Festival on Sunday 9/11/2005. The day was also the fourth anniversary of 9/11/2001, Patriot Day and two weeks after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast.

The tent space was shared with C.A.F.E., the Community Association of Firearm Educators, and with the Second Amendment Sisters.

Normally at Takoma Park the MCSM message that "Personal Protection is a Personal Responsibility" is greeted with some outright hostility, some passive interest and some quiet cheering. Some in TP still support the ideal of Personal Protection. They support us quietly in TP, not wanting to stray too far out of the closet.

This time however, it was similar to the time just after 9/11/2001. The general population appears to be much more aware of their mortality because of hurricane Katrina and that perhaps they should pay a bit more attention and become properly prepared. I call this the reaction of folks who realize that there are potential sudden disasters and they suddenly "Get Religion". Others might say, "There are no Atheist in a fox hole".

Many women stopped and discussed firearm training and took flyers and course schedules on Women On Target and other training classes. Many took the papers on Refuse to Be a Victim and the Personal Safety Tips, points to avoid victimization in professional and work environments.

Most of all they took the MCSM produced flyer "Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!" or for those more familiar with english it is, "Let The Good Times Roll!, the New Orleans motto.

The one page cover photo collage and text, stressed that occasionally bad times roll, and one that should be prepared. It was accompanied by a one page list of suggested ways to prepare for sheltering in place or if necessary to "scoot" and head for the hills. (Attached below).

Some discussions in depth disclosed the fear that some people have of defending themselves, some moral beliefs and some outright abuse of authority arguments that mere citizens should not be armed. Is that what is being enforced in the Gulf Coast right now on 9/12/2005?

Several folks, especially ladies stress their fear of firearms but were occasionally receptive of a discussion of Women on Target. One couple stated their religious objection to use of force, especially firearms, against another. After a few minutes of discussing the moral dilemma of self defense they agreed that if it came to defending their family they could use force and a firearm, but that they would suffer severe emotional strain. They appeared to accept the general proposition of firearms as a tool, but had a strong moral limit of use for defense against others. They strongly acknowledged that this was their PERSONAL position and would not be imposed on others.

Finally there is the story of a fellow who purported to be with the FBI and had problems with folks having firearms and perhaps better firepower than local and national LEO's. He is missing, or ignoring, the true utility of armed citizens. He cited some of the common disinformation points; about citizens not being capable of defending themselves, so leave it to the professionals; about .50BMG's capable of shooting down airliners, etc. I cited citizen defense from oppression, like oppression in many countries in the past. He cited the apparent lack of criminality in countries like Japan. I cited the obvious lack of liberty in Japan, in that suspects can be detained without cause, notice or legal advice, and forcefully interrogated for weeks, that most convictions are based on forced confessions and that should not happen in the USA. He replied, "What? Have you not heard of the Patriot Act or the Material Witness clause?".

This friendly civil servant reminded me of the line from Atlas Shrugged"...WHEN THERE AREN'T ENOUGH CRIMINALS, ONE MAKES THEM..." All I could do at that time was to give him a sad smile and think of the 80,000,000 firearm owners in America, many of them well trained (Regulated) and glance at the photos in front of me of many friends at various action shooting and practical defense scenarios.

Remember, Personal Protection is a Personal Responsibility.

View Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! (PDF File)

Shelter or Scoot, general suggestions;
From the "Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!" flyer;

WHEN serious disaster strikes you will loose public services, generally in this order; Power, Telephone, Cellular / Wireless, Gas / Water / Public Sewer. You can loose local power and phone in an instant when trees go down over lines. If the power outage is very wide spread then the main services will slowly loose their backup power and go down. Prepare for all contingencies.

POWER; Have at least battery powered lights and radios available. The new white-light LED flashlights are great as they use much less battery power. A small but sensitive AM/FM radio will keep you in touch. You might want to have a dry cell battery pack for your cell phone to communicate when your rechargable pack runs down. If your situation would allow you to shelter in place you may want to investigate a generator to keep refrigeration and other necessities running. STUDY the options, do not enter this area without good training. Inquire at WWW.MCSM.ORG for info.

WATER; You need about 2 liters of water a day just to survive. If you are working hard you will need 2 to 3 times that much. You need just a little extra for cooking and personal cleaning. Note to self, stock up on some baby wipes. Keep drinkable water in your scoot bags in liter bottles. Store more water in used plastic juice jugs or camping water jugs. Rinse all used or new containers thoroughly and allow to dry before capping for storage. Rinse again with 1 pint of clean water with 1-2 ounces of bleach. Shake around thoroughly and drain into the next jug and repeat for all jugs to be filled. It is OK and desirable to leave a little of the rinse solution that clings to the sides in the jugs as this will slightly chlorinate the water. Fill with clean cold water direct from the tap, cap and store in a cool dark place. Large plastic 55 gallon drums are available to store even more.

FOOD; When an emergency strikes, you are NOT on a diet. You will need about 1500 Calories a day, more if very active. Check the expiration dates and keep your pantry stocked with several weeks of non-perishable food. Look for snap top cans or make sure you have several hand can openers available. For the scoot bags, pack cans, plastic jars and other unbreakable packages only. Focus on high energy food like peanut butter (crackers), canned fish, ready to eat soup and stew, canned meals like ravioli or spaghetti, etc. Avoid food that needs to be cooked unless you have a camp stove. Take some granola or fruit bars but take food that you can eat in quantity for the energy but not suffer from digestive problems from O.D.'ing on granola bars. Carry CASH, ATM's and Credit Cards will be useless when power and phones are out.

HEALTH; Make sure you have a good health kit; first aid PLUS a lot more. Think of personal hygiene, and more than just cuts and scrapes. Can you stop serious bleeding, disinfect & suture a wound, splint a broken limb? Here is where your camping and survival training is needed; Get Some!

SHELTER - CLOTHING; Take at least one or two medium size tarps, duct tape, parachute cord, bungees, etc. If you have camping equipment, line up the things you can grab quickly and carry easily. Pack several days of clean dry clothes in heavy zip lock bags so that they stay dry. (Pack everything in freezer zip locks, stuff stays dry and you can always use them later)

SECURITY; If you are in a disaster situation and sheltered in place in your home or on the road you will have to provide your own security. There are two rules here; 1) Do not make yourself an inviting target or go looking for trouble. A group of 5 or 10 will discourage an attack by one. Larger groups can offer more protection IF they work together, but in an emergency they will not. Good area camp lights, high intensity flashlights and etc. can deflect attackers, BUT showing lights when all about you are in the dark will also attract attention. 2) If you do come under attack, and you can not escape from it; if you must stand and defend, not much trumps an slung rifle and a 1911 on your hip. What ever you chose, make sure you have the education, training and mind set necessary to be effective.

Learn more on security and Self defense, Your Personal Responsibility, at and elsewhere on the web through Best Shot and Sure Shot Training Do not remain dependent on the civil services to protect or rescue you in times of danger. You are your own best self defense and they are not legally required to defend or rescue any individual, only to maintain the civil order as best as possible. For days or weeks, YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN.

This Information Is From MCSM (WWW.MCSM.ORG)

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only.

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Most recent revision September 2005