THE OCHO: THE EIGHTH ANNUAL PREPAREDNESS CONFERENCE JANUARY 3-5, 2020
Current events serve as a very good reminder of the need to be prepared for a variety of things that can go wrong. As political rhetoric heats up on both the local and national level, how will you deal with potential outbursts of anger and frustration that seem to become more pronounced as we approach national elections?
For the last eight years, I have steered the topics of previous conferences away from talk of civil unrest and riots. I felt like people needed to focus on the more common perils of severe weather, fire, medical emergencies and violent crime. Discussions of civil unrest and civil war are unsettling – more so than conversations of floods, hurricanes and wildfires.
But in 2019, we no longer have that luxury.
Earlier today on Townhall.com, an article entitled “Are We Headed Toward a Second Civil War?” appeared. From the article:
Yet, in today’s polarized age, most people now genuinely believe civil war to be a very real possibility. An October Georgetown Institute poll found that the average American believes we are “two-thirds of the way to the edge of a civil war,” while a solid majority believes that “political, racial, and class divisions are getting worse.”
Regarding that same Georgetown study – here’s what New York Magazine had to say about it:
That division is leading to a dark place, respondents said. Asked how close the country is to the “edge of a civil war” — with 0 being not close at all and 100 being time to get the “go” bag — Americans say we’re at 67.23. So, two-thirds of the way to internecine bloodshed. Could be better. Could be worse.
From the New York Times, just two days ago:
A sense of disbelief seemed to take hold of the room when Lilliana Mason, a government and politics professor at the University of Maryland, began to show the results of a survey she had conducted among voters on the issue of political violence around the 2018 midterms. While 77 percent had said they were against violence of any sort, around 20 percent appeared willing to tolerate some kind of violence in politics.
She flipped to another survey. Twenty-five percent of respondents had said they favored the country being broken up along party lines into separate nations.
Even commentator/comedians are speaking about it. Bill Maher on his HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher” last Friday:
“Lately we’ve been hearing more and more about a second Civil War, which sounds impossible in this modern affluent country. It is not.”
This year’s conference will include extended analysis of the factors and actors in the conversation surrounding the potential for a Second Civil War. You need to know what is being said, how to evaluate the inflammatory rhetoric, and prepare your family for further tensions in our country.
We’ll also be covering using pepper spray as a less than lethal means to deter violent crime, along with a presentation on electrical generators and night vision equipment. On Sunday, we’ll focus on self defense skills, such as managing and de-escalating conflict in public spaces, as well as some Defensive Long Gun training with the long gun of your choice.
Click here to get read more and get signed up.
AUSTIN POLICE: APD RESPONSE TIMES ARE GOING UP. THE TREND WILL CONTINUE.
At last week’s Preparedness Meet Up, we invited the Greater Austin Crime Commission and the Austin Police Department to come discuss crime trends in Austin. Here’s some of the data they provided:
Take a look at those numbers. APD response times for calls requiring “lights and sirens” – the really big ones – now averages 8 minutes. Note that’s a 10.3% increase from last year.
Eight minutes. That’s 480 seconds on average. Which means some calls, depending on a wide variety of factors, can take much longer.
What can happen to you in 8 minutes? What can happen to your family in 8 minutes?
What if your call takes 10 minutes instead of 8 minutes? What if someone is attempting to break in to your home at 3 AM or hurt your family in a parking lot of a grocery store?
What is your plan to deal with that?
The Greater Austin Crime Commission reports that the combination of increased population, coupled with the failure of the Austin City Council to adequately staff the street officer ranks of APD, are driving up response times.
These trends will not end any time soon. Plan accordingly.
ARMED CITIZEN STOPS WALMART SHOOTING IN OKLAHOMA TODAY
A key detail being omitted from many news reports about today’s shooting at an Oklahoma Walmart is that the shooter took his own life after being confronted by an armed citizen.
Carry your gun. Get training to do so safely and effectively. The life you save may be your own.
SPEAKING OF BEING AN ARMED CITIZEN, I AM TRANSITIONING TO A NEW EVERY DAY CARRY GUN
I’ve alternated between two extremes in size over the last 7 years – a Glock 34 (large frame gun) and Glock 26 (a subcompact), both of which are 9mm.
However, I’ve been quite impressed with the reviews on the Glock 48 – a single stack 9mm. I’m in the process of switching to that as my everyday carry (EDC) gun. The Glock 34 was simply too long and the Glock 26, while shorter, is a “fat” gun making it a challenge to carry concealed with nicer clothes (suits and dress slacks). I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
Q1 2020 SEASONAL WEATHER OUTLOOK – WARMER, DRIER
The official seasonal forecast for the first three months of 2020 doesn’t bode well for our current drought situation:
That’s all for now. Stay safe out there. And get signed up for The Ocho.
We’re pleased the Preparedness Conference is in its eighth year. To sign up, click here.
The theme for this conference is “Austin in Crisis.” We will look at the recent problems in the Austin area and what a prepared citizenry needs to know heading into 2020, focusing on:
Friday, January 3
OC spray/less-lethal weapons for Civilians Instructor Course – Chuck Haggard, a nationally respected self defense instructor in a number of disciplines, will be teaching attendees how to train others in the use of OC spray and less than lethal weapon systems. OC spray (aka pepper spray) and other systems provide the preparedness community a viable option when confronted with a dangerous situation requiring force that is less than deadly force. This is a great option for those who wish to help prepare their families, houses of worship and workplaces with self defense skills that don’t involve firearms. This is an all day class. Tuition is $300.
HALF DAY WEEKEND SESSIONS
Each of the half day sessions is $100. Attend two sessions for $180, three sessions for $240, and all four for the package discount price of $280, a savings of $120.
Saturday morning, January 4
OC spray/less-lethal weapons for Civilians – Chuck Haggard will make another appearance on the second day of The OCHO to teach a half day class for those just wanting the actual course content. This is a great option for family members and others who want to learn how to use less than lethal self defense systems but do not want to train others in how to use them.
Saturday afternoon, January 4
Generators 101 – More people are wanting to purchase generators for power outages caused by storms and cyber attacks on the grid. Kurt Summers of Austin Generator will be on hand to explain the basics of generators and help you make decisions as to whether you need a generator and, if so, what kind of generator you should acquire.
Paul Martin will be leading the discussion on the following topics:
The Second American Civil War – The Deep Dive – The mainstream media and major policy publications have published articles and stories on the likelihood of a Second American Civil War, or CW2. We will do a deep dive into the material to see what is driving this, whether it’s something we should actually be concerned about, and how prepared citizens should respond and react to the increased attention to this subject.
Austin in Crisis – The past 24 months in Austin have been challenging for the city, including a serial bomber, a massive boil water order for the city, an escalating level of violence downtown, increased response times for first responders, and a massive shift in public policy priorities creating health and safety hazards throughout the city. We are going to spend some time focusing on the public safety and health challenges facing the Austin area.
Preparing for Civil Unrest – As we head into 2020, political tensions will undoubtedly escalate creating a very tense election year which may go beyond November 3, 2020. Add to these growing tensions the increased attacks on our power grid and extended response times by first responders. What should prepared citizens anticipate in the event of a civil unrest event, and how can they prepare for it in 2020? We will be offering a number of ideas to help get you ready for this possibility.
Night Vision Equipment Demonstration – Once it gets dark outside on Saturday, Cliff Cheadle of Third Coast Thermal will be on hand to demonstrate the newest night vision equipment and how best to deploy it in a suburban and urban setting.
Sunday morning, January 5
Potential Threat Management – KR Training Instructor Dave Reichek will provide hands on training in managing communication, position, movement and body language when interacting with unknown individuals in public places. This block will include simulations where students will practice evading, avoiding, deterring and physically interacting with potential threats. Some drills will incorporate instructors wearing protective headgear so that students can practice unarmed techniques.
Sunday afternoon, January 5
Defensive Long Gun – Karl Rehn and Wendell Joost will be teaching the 4 hour Defensive Long Gun Essentials course that is a staple in the KR Training curriculum. We encourage attendees for this particular offering to use any type of long gun of their choosing, especially one that they may not be their primary defensive long gun. This includes rifles chambered in 22, pump and semi auto shotguns, lever guns and bolt action guns.
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