Saturday, December 29, 2012

Security considerations for Healthcare Pharmacies: Access Control


This is going to be a basic primer for healthcare professionals on safety and security considerations related to pharmaceuticals and pharmacies located in healthcare facilities.

Pharmacies located in healthcare facilities are very different from retail pharmacies one may be accustomed to seeing outside of the healthcare facility. For starters typically pharmacies in a hospital are an internal department that the public will have little to no interaction with. There is typically no retail aspect and as such any security risks related to retail establishments and the handling of cash will normally not apply here.

Some hospitals will have both a public retail pharmacy (possibly merged with a gift shop) in addition to the facilities pharmacy department however the security concerns addressed here will not apply to a retail establishment.

One thing to please remember as we cover this is that the pharmacy is not the only source of risk with relation to prescription medications and controlled narcotics. In a hospital the pharmacy acts as the central hub of a large and sometimes complicated distribution chain for medication so as such there are security risks at every link of that distribution chain. Now like all pharmacies the process starts with a pharmacist receiving a written order from a licensed physician the drugs may be for a specific patient or it may be an order for a nursing units, medicine cart, cabinet, night cupboard or automated dispenser.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Pharmacies are a vital area of high risk due to the requirement to follow stringent policies and laws related to how medications orders are processed and dispensed. Depending on the particulars of the facility or the substances being dispensed pharmaceutical activity can be monitored and regulated by a wide variety of external agencies such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canadian National Institute of Health and Accreditation Canada. All of this leads to a higher need for enhanced security measures and diligent efforts to deter incidents from occurring by all employees of the healthcare facility but especially of physicians, front line nurses, the security department and the pharmacy staff.

Access Control:

Access Control should be the principal effort of every physical security plan.

For pharmacies there should be minimal entry ways and those entry points should be secured by an electronic access system. It could be as simple as a keyed or magnetic lock depending on the risk level of the department or ideally it should employ a layered access system of for example a swipe access reader couple with a key pad requiring a unique PIN number to enter the department. CCTV systems set up to allow a good overview of the entire department. The compounding area (The part of the pharamcy where drugs are store and prepared) should also be keyed and possibly have an electronic lock and should only be accessible with the staff pharamcist present.

That being said in hospitals staffing issues and emergencies tend to get the best of you therefore you should have a system in place to permit access by other staff members in case a pharmacist is off site or the incident occurs after hours. However it should also be a policy that the event is recorded and a detailed incident report is typed up explaining the reasoning behind the breach of policy. Security should also be considered to provide an escort

Pharamcies should also have trouble alarms installed that in the event of something unusual the security department receives automatic notification of the incident. There should also be silent trouble alarms at work stations in the event of a robbery attempt.

In summary a solid access control system can make the department much more secure and it can make things a hell of a lot easier for all involved and also provide detailed eyes on account of what happens. A proper Access Control system can also make the department a lot more safer and deter theft from the actual department.

In the next step we will talk about Drug Diversion and the theft of medications outside of the pharmacy department.

Greyman

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Gun Myth: "The *Insert Calibre* is the only legitimate calibre to use."


Now be warned this article may read a little preachy however that is not my intention. I am simply sharing my opinion.

One thing I notice a lot when we get to talking about firearms especially in relation to defensive use is people getting uppity about a particular calibre or claiming if you want a defensive firearm it cant be anything smaller then the X cartridge. Some of these guys are simply on a ego trip and some of these guys are of that old school attitude who feel that the only thing a man needs to fight of any threat is a non filter lucky strike and an M1 Garand. Personally I cannot hate the old school man but what I can hate is foolish pride getting in the way of people arming themselves with kit that they are able to use.

This can be between personal conversations with people on ranges or even in the online gun community. It is kind of the same phenomena as people bashing a particular brand of firearm under the belief that the firearm is totally worthless and not as good as their gun.

Now some calibres are superior to others and 17+1 rounds in a Glock 17 is better then 5 shots in a snub nosed revolver and yes some bullets are faster, some are slower some hit harder because of weight or some break up and do "more damage" (See my previous post on Hollow Point Ammunition) It is all.. kind of old actually. Lets first off just touch on the fact that some people cant shoot a 10mm. Some cant shoot a 40 S&W to those people I prescribe that they try something smaller and some will say "Well if they cant handle a .40 they need to deal with it. More cops use .40 then any other round on the market" Really? deal with it? why not instead find them a round and a pistol that they can run like a champ and effectively hit their targets? 4 out of 4 hits with a 9mm is better then 2 hits out of 4 from a .45 any day of the week.

Also while the .40 is an effective round the adoption and development of the .40 S&W was a very political move not so much a matter of ballistics.

If you're older or feeble and cant even run a 9mm. Get a .380 or just ANYTHING that you can use effectively. Like I said in my very first post fighting is a mental exercise before anything. It starts in the mind before anything else and you need to take your ego out of the equation.It is the fighting mindset that will carry you to safety not some fancy gizmo or a magic bullet.

Clint Smith at Thunder Ranch one of my all time favourite tactical trainers constantly argues that the gun that is with you is better then the gun that's at home in the safe and for that reason I would prescribe to you that you get a pistol, that uses ammo that you can shoot, ammo you can afford and ammo you can acquire easily. To some people that may only be a .380 or .22 (depending on your abilities or your countries laws like Mexico for example where you can only own a pistol of .380 or lower)

If that is all you can own legally why not carry it? Now according to some people to carry such a gun would be a waste of time as the rounds would simply bounce off of your opponent like superman and fall at their feet.  Let me be clear that while I am not a doctor or a para medic I am confident enough in my knowledge of anatomy of ballistics that I will say right here that ANY round of any calibre that is fired into the throat or neck area is not going to be a pretty sight for the person who was hit.
And personally I do not care how hardcore someone is I do not see anyone taking two or three rounds into that area with all of those vital points and staying in the fight in a serious manner. Do you?

Greyman

Terrorism: DHS believes that food trucks may be a terrorist threat

We have met the enemy. And his name is fried food
Some times I wonder if DHS gets scared of its own shadow.

Publicintelligence.net a fairly impressive security intelligence website that I only just recently discovered posted a link to a DHS sponsored PowerPoint presentation provided by the Fire Department of the City of New York that discusses the unique safety issues that roach wagons (mobile food trucks) represent. Along with some moderately legitimate concerns such as many food trucks using propane and/or gasoline-powered generators to cook and some vehicles may not be properly licensed food vendors etc however those are matters of public health and or commerce. Not Terrorism which is what the powerpoint turns into. Little more then a wild speculation that food trucks represent one more way that terrorists will use to kill us all.

Now I am getting tired of the sort of fire for effect method that is being used for counter terrorism where the belief that if we simply treat anything and everything out there as a terrorism threat we will be prepared when one presents itself. It is disappointing that this is the best a government agency with a 60 billion dollar budget and a quarter of a million people in its employ can come

How should we handle this infestation of food vans which obviously is a clear threat to national security? shall the health inspectors start packing rifles and IIIA Body Armour? I mean I thought this guy would be enough  to take care of the roach wagons?

Jokes aside I do acknowledge that terrorism is a very serious threat and terrorists do come in all shapes and sizes but to develop that risk into a fear of thinking every ice cream truck on your street is an IED strike waiting to happen is absolutely insane. This game of looking at the world through a toilet paper roll called Counter Terrorism needs to be dealt with. This is more absurd then the British made Anti Terrorism commercials about people who pay with cash or working in their garage are possible terrorist threats.

All in all the USDHS Needs to focus. Not every single issue of our society is a terrorist threat and not everything in our society needs to be looked at from a position of national security, I understand that this is one of the purposes of the Department of Homeland Security however that does not make roach wagons into VBIED's

Greyman

Monday, October 15, 2012

Case Study Omagh NI Bombing 1998



Date: Saturday, 15th August 1998.
Location: Omagh, Country Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
Category: Terrorist Attack, Bombing, Vehicle

The very first time I took a course on critical communications and bomb threat management the instructor had noted how most bomb threat warnings are called in to reduce physical casualties as typically the building to be bombed serves as a symbol and the bomber does not traditionally intend to harm a lot of people.

However it was also noted in the last two decades that terrorist groups around the world have been developing bomb threat strategies of a more melevolant nature. Intended to increase the number of casualties to both civilian and of the first responders (typically medical and security forces)

There are three key malevolent bomb threat strategies as identified by EOD expert Craig S Gundry US Army (Ret) CPS, CHS-III

1 - The Mouse Trap

2 The Short Warning

3 The False Bomb location


The Omagh bombing of august 1998 employed two of these tactics the short warning and the false bomb location. It was carried out supposedly by members of the Real Irish Republican Army a splinter faction of the Provisional IRA who were opposed to the signing of the Good Friday or Belfast Agreement on the 10th of april 1998. The bomb was detonated in a crowded market area and inflicted casualties estimated at around 30 (+2) dead and over 200 wounded. I say +2  as one of the women was carrying an unborn child and there was a paramedic who was killed in a vehicle collision rushing to respond to the explosion. Never forget about the men and women who run towards the fire.

This day, the 15th of August was reported to be the last day of major shopping before the start of the new school year and Omagh is reported to be the only town in County Tyrone that had school uniform and supply stores and so on this busy hectic day of shopping you found hundreds of people flooding to Omagh to get the last minute shopping done so that all the little ones would be ready for school. I have been told it was said to be a big day for the town and things like a festival had been planned and we had people of both Protestant and Catholic backgrounds, Tourists from the Republic, a Mormon teenager on an exchange, several young exchange students from Spain all in this one area.

Now this was a tense period on the Northern Irish peace process. Negotiations to end the Troubles had already failed in 1996 and there was a resumption of political violence. They finally signed the act through on 1998 as Sinn Fein (A republican political party that has historically carried ties to the PIRA) had approved of the Mitchell Principles which called for the disarmament and disbandment of all paramilitary forces and a commitment to nonviolence. The RIRA opposed certain clauses in the agreement and began its campaign on January 7th 1998 with an attempted bombing in Banbridge, County Down. this attack was thwarted when responding security forces managed to located and diffuse the device before it could be detonated.

Buildup:
On 13, August,1998 a red Vauxhall Cavalier was stolen from Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, in the Republic of Ireland. the culprits switched the Republic plates with Northern Ireland plates and crossed the border on the morning of the 15th. At approximately 14:10 the vehicle was recorded by CCTV parking outside of an S.D. Kells' clothin store on Lower Market Street in Omagh. This position was also near its intersection with Dublin Road. Two unidentified subjects exited the car and walked east down Market Street turning towards Campsie Road. where they most likely had an extraction team waiting for them.

This photo was recovered in a camera found in the rubble. That car parked to the left of the man and child is the vehicle that contains the bomb.


The next stage in this operation was the phone calls. The phone call traditionally is used as a warning to evacuate the building. It is believed by some that bombers view the building as a symbol and do not necessarily intend to inflict human casualties. Of course some casualties do occur however it is usually believed to be a warning to minimize casualties.

This is not one of those cases. At approximately 1430 a bomb threat call was made to Ulster Television in Belfast, Northern Ireland with the following message

"There is a bomb. Courthouse. Omagh town. 500 lbs. Explosion. 30 minutes"

So we have established that a 500 lb blast will occur at the courthouse in Omagh at approximately 1500. For purposes of the geographical location the courthouse is just under 500 metres from the marketplace. At approximately 1432 a call was placed to the Samaritans Charity society in Coleraine, County Londonderry.

"Am I through to Omagh? This is a bomb warning. It's going to go off in 30 minutes. 200 metres from the courthouse"

At 1435 a second call was recieved at the Ulster Television station in Belfast with a brief message.

"Bomb, Omagh town, 15 minutes."

In  a span of five minutes the callers established a web of confusion as to the location and detonation time of the bomb that would ultimately give them a more successful operation. 

Now in each call the name Martha Pope was referenced. This was a code word, an authentication code if you will to be used between Irish Republican forces and British Police to verify the validity of the call and that it was not a prank.And as such the police response was to immediately evacuate the court house and surronding area and get them a safe distance away. A cordon surrounding the courthouse was established at 1440 hours and the evacuees were positioned 400 metres away on market street. which as it happens was the location of the school supply stores and that red car. They began carefully searching the area around the courthouse.

 At 1510 hours the bomb detonates roughly 400 metres from the courthouse in the crowd of evacuees and children.

Chaos immediately after the bombing.


From there the incident was not over. On the 18th of august 1998 a group identifying itself as the Real IRA, the RIRA admitted responsibility for the event but blamed the police for the deaths. They claimed that 3 clear messages identified the device as being on market street 400 metres from the courthouse parked in front of a commercial target.

 Is it possible that this was an operational screw up that can be blamed on bad or inaccurate intelligence? of course it can but isn't it also possible that the callers had a much darker plan intended for that device then blowing up a clothing store?

Now immediately after the blast and prior to the RIRA accepting the blame. the fingers were all pointing to the Provisional Irish Republican Army. The PIRA who were quite obviously furious having just signed the Belfast agreement and agreeing to attempt at peace. It has been rumored that the PIRA got their own kind of revenge against the real perpetrators of the attack.

Now whether or not that is true I have absolutely no idea. It would not surprise me but I simply do not know if such a thing is true.

Omagh Bombing Memorial placed where the vehicle was parked.


Lessons to be learned from this attack:

1. NEVER assume that the information stated in a bomb threat warning is completely accurate the caller may be misinformed or inaccurate about his statement It is also possible that the caller is bering deliberately misleading in an effort to provoke a specific response.

2. ALWAYS inspect your safe zone and cordon area for secondary devices. Although we found no secondaries in the Omagh incident a search of the safe zone could have revealed the actual intention of the bomb. possibly saving the lives of everyone there.

This was probably one of the darkest hours in the history of the troubles and it caused a severe backlash on both sides of the tension due to a severe number of civilians, women and children dying from the incident.

To the best of my research the RIRA is still active in Northern Ireland even today as they are not satisfied with the Belfast Agreement.

Greyman









First Look: Lakonian Bladecraft LBC-2 Last Warning




I am kind of a knife guy. I almost always have a cutting tool on me and I just appreciate weapons of all forms. Despite my fascination with blades and knives I have never really been an SME on knives. I know only a little bit of basic knowledge on the most basic elements of sharpening and maintenance, I know almost nothing about steels and heat treatments and such. Blade angles mean only a little bit to me I just want to be a able to cut whatever needs cutting with ease and precision apart from that I don’t care if it is a 22 degree angle or a 20 degree angle. 


That doesn’t stop me from appreciating a good solid knife when I see one.

I have what I believe is a minimum set of required knives or blades that everyone should have. Think of it as the Greyman Four. The four minimum blades everyone should own and that is a hatchet or axe for gathering wood, a large fixed blade camp/fighting knife for a whole range of field work, a small pen knife like a swiss army knife or case knife for whittling and small tasks and then a middle range fixed or folding knife intended for everything in between. I have been looking for a wharncliffe knife for some time now to serve that middle range position, I was eyeing the wharncliffe folders made by Spyderco and Blackhawk but I am not a huge fan of Spyderco knives and I eventually came to the decision that I wanted a fixed blade.

I wanted a blade length of around 3 ½” or shorter and did not want too big of a knife but I wanted a full grip so as to allow a good solid purchase on the handle. I wanted a quality steel and kydex sheath so I could mount it to any kind of MOLLE platform if the need arose.

Eventually a friend of mine Kos Stathakis in Toronto Ontario decided to start making knives and low and behold did he feel he had made the perfect option for me. Enter the LBC-2 Last Warning.
The LBC-2 Last Warning is a 2 inch modified wharncliffe style blade made from 52100 steel with an overall length of 6 and a quarter inches and is almost .210 of an inch thick. The blade shape resembles many of the fighting style wharncliffe knives favoured by famed knife instructor Michael Janich and features a very mean point.

When it arrived to me in came in a padded thick parcel envelope that included the knife, kydex sheath and some parachute cord to make a necklace out of. The blade is intended for neck carry though I plan to run this in either pocket carry or belt carry. I do not at present live and work in an environment that requires speedy access to a knife so this will serve as one of my utility knives. I feel that in this role it will be an excellent fit and would also work well as a simple keep around the house utility knife. Kind of like a Stanley box cutter on steroids. And of course that nice point and edge would make it a great defensive weapon 



The knife is to be honest not the cheapest blade on the market though at the same time you have to remember this is not a mass produced knife out of a factory full of CNC machines this a hand made knife designed, tested and produced by a guy with a one man operation this is not some mass produced china made knife. This is a handmade tool built by a craftsman. Kos was kind enough to even engrave a little grey on the blade as a nod to our program here. ;)

No disrespect to mass production knives and not everybody is going to enjoy shelling out 150+ on a blade but if you are one of those guys who has a serious love for knives or a respect for craftsmen then this may be something to consider. The knife features gimping all across the handle which allows you to get a decent purchase on the grip and it gives it a cool little look. I recently added some skateboard griptape to the side to allow an even more solid purchase on the handle but its not necessary. The knife as was shipped to me did not come with scales however the included paracord can also be used for wrapping the handle. I opted out of thais as I have never been overly fond of cord wrap handles. I feel my little grip tape mod does do a good job as this is a thick knife so scales are almost not needed. I would not mind some nice G10 scales but at present my griptape works just fine.




While this is hardly a review I will say that so far I really like this knife. Stay tuned for more on the LBC-2 Last warning.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Firearm Myth: Hollow Point ammunition


This is going to be a series addressing myths and misconceptions about firearms and weapons. A lot of these are projected by accident by people who are simply not aware of the mistake or intentionally by the media and anti firearm political groups and a lot of these I encounter personally both among shooters and non shooters alike. These are simple misunderstandings pushed out by uninformed people and sometimes it is for the intention of scaring people.

Now despite that little introduction I wish to clarify I am not a subject matter expert, I am not a ballastician, or a medical examiner or lawyer or anything with a fancy acronym after my name. (2013 UPDATE: I am somebody with a fancy acronym after my name now.)

Myth: Hollow Point rounds were intended to kill people easier

Reality: While theoretically a Hollow Point will kill easier or inflict more damage that was not the key intention of the design. the priority is slowing the round down.

A hollow point round is a projectile that has a kind of cavity drilled into the centre of the round. The intention of this design and the reason that most law enforcement carry hollow point rounds is that upon impact with the rounds target the bullet will expand out which will slow the round down and as such will improve the odds of the round staying inside the body. The cause for this rapid expansion is that we as human beings are mostly made of water. And when it hits that hard that quickly water is more or less like hitting concrete. The water enters the cavity of the round and pushes through it more or less causing a massive expansion of the round in some ballistic tests the round almost doubles in size upon impact, sometimes it breaks up into several particles and fly's in different directions inside the body.

NOW a by product of that effect is that the round can potentially cause more "damage" internally. But the purpose of the design is not from a lethality standpoint the goal is to slow the round down so it will stay inside the body as opposed to passing through the body and moving on until it stops. Like all rounds it is designed to kill but its not designed to be a magic super bullet that will kill everything with impunity its designed so that when you shoot someone the bullet doesn't exit the body and move on to "hit the gas tank of a school bus full of nuns." (Credit to TheHossUSMC for that line)

The reason why police and why armed citizens carry hollow points is that traditionally we fight inside very close to medium range environments and often times there may be bystanders present. Think of the distance as like the width of a car, the length of a car, the length of a hallway, the length of your driveway. relatively short distances and most of these are in built up areas where you will probably find bystanders and people who you dont want to shoot.

Another instance where you want to control penetration would be in a controlled or pressurised environment such as an aircraft. you want to stop the round inside the body by expanding and slowing down so as not to cause an unwanted effect to the aircraft.

All in all I feel that the point of stopping the round is the priority in a Hollow Point bullet and the fragmentation and expansion is simply an added benefit

Greyman 

Review: Glock: The Rise of Americas Gun by Paul M Barrett



You can argue semantics over various firearms debates until the end of time but one thing that cannot be argued by anybody is the fact that Glock pistols are carried by well over half of all law enforcement officers in the United States. Here in my own country of Canada the Glock 22 pistol is carried by easily the same ratio of half of all police departments nationwide. Here on the east coast the four maritime provinces seem to favor the Sig 226 in 9mm but almost exclusively west of New Brunswick the carry pistol of choice (Save for federal level LE like RCMP and Military Police) is the Glock 22 in .40.

Now debates on calibre can be made I personally do not like high pressure rounds like .40 and feel that 9mm is more then efficient to mess somebodies day up though I am not opposed to a .40 calibre pistol either. I believe that you take the tools you are given and you go to work.

The Glock has a really interesting story behind its rise to the top of handgun excellence. You have a man who made a living making door hinges and curtain rods, a man who knew nothing of firearms, their proper use, design, or mechanics. A common man who approaches an Austrian Army general and says "Im going to build your new service pistol"

A pistol which he in fact builds in not even a year, a pistol that then goes on to defeat Sig, Steyer, Beretta and Walther by a landslide? That my friends is extraordinary. I was recently passed a copy of Glock: The Rise of Americas Gun by Paul M Barrett. I had known of this book for a while now but had just never gotten around to grabbing a copy.

The book covers not just the history of Glock as a company but also allows a look at gun culture in America from all angles.As an example the head of pentagon counter terrorism in the 80's fought to have the glock 17 banned from being imported or sold in the US based off of speculative information regarding the ability to smuggle the disassembled "plastic gun" through airport security screening systems. The book implys that this evidence came from a faulty test. Now lets remember that that the pistol has about nineteen ounces of steel plus about 4 ozs. of lead, if it has a full magazine. The book later imply's that this same high ranking terrorism expert went on to purchase a Glock 17 some time alter and claims that he found it to be one of the best auto pistols he had ever fired.

There are a few interesting things I have taken away from this book (And I have yet to finish it)  

Glock had a very aggressive business approach to tackling the US. He found that if he could get the feds and the cops to carry them then the gun community (Billions of dollars) would come running with cash in hand.

He had a very celebrity approach to tackling police management, private dinners, free training classes tons of free samples and bonus incentives he made these coppers feel like rockstars and it worked. Couple that with the fact that when the pistol came on the market it was cheap, effective and held a ton of ammunition compared to the stuff cops were used to. Remember this was dropped onto the table basically right at the tail end of the wheel gun days and only a few auto pistols were seeing police use. 

The pistol since that time has remained almost unchanged save for some minor changes in the design. Some of which have not been received so well by the community as others. But nobody can deny the Glock's affect on both civilian firearms culture and the policing and LE communities. 

I am really enjoying this book and encourage anybody interested in the glock pistol or even the US gun culture to pick up a copy at your local book store. Glock: The rise of Americas gun is available at most any book store and is running an average of 15.00-20.00 CAD for a hardcover copy

Greyman

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Warriors Creed




If today is to be THE DAY, so be it. If you seek to do battle with me on this day you will receive the best that I am capable of giving.

It may not be enough, but it will be everything that I have to give and it will be impressive for I have constantly prepared myself for this moment. I have trained, drilled, and rehearsed my actions so that I might have the best chance of defeating you.

I have kept myself in peak physical condition, schooled myself in the martial way, and have become proficient in the application of violence. You may defeat me, but you will pay a severe price and will be lucky to escape with your own life.

You can kill me, you can break me, I am willing to die if necessary. I do not fear Death, for I have been close enough to it that it no longer concerns me. What I do fear is the loss of my Honor and I would rather die fighting than to have it said that I was without my courage.

So I WILL FIGHT YOU to the death if need be, I will break you, I will stare you down and face you no matter how insurmountable the task may seem, so that it may known that I am the consummate Warrior.

-Randy Wyatt

Greyman

Thursday, September 20, 2012

General Update: September 2012

It has been an interesting month here at the Greyman shop. We have inbound right now the Lakonian LBC-2 Last Warning which we will be doing an unboxing and quick overview of ASAP. and then after an extensive period of testing and evaluation we will give our official word on the LBC-2.

Also inbound shortly from LA Police Gear is the 3 Day Backpack. I felt it was time to retire my old day bag and get a new pack for transit, work and EDC. the LAPG is a very affordable offer but reviews seem to indicate it is remarkably solid for the low price of 29.99 so we shall see what happens with that.

We also have several books being reviewed right now which we hope will form the core of the "Greyman recommended reading list."

Short post today guys not much else to add. Lots of crazy stuff going on the world out there. we cant cover it all but hopefully things will improve scheduling wise soon that I can get to posting more frequently.

Greyman.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

ANNOUNCEMENT: Lakonian Bladecraft to be evaluated by Greyman Group

The Greyman Group is very excited to announce an upcoming evaluation of some pieces offered by Lakonian Bladecraft based out of Toronto Ontario. Kos at Lakonian is going to be sending us one of his flagship model knives the "Last Warning" a Wharncliffe style of blade. The Wharncliffe is one of my personal favourite blade patterns and one made very popular by famed knife instructor Michael Janich.

I think it will find a nice place in my 3 blade system for outdoors work and camping. Rather then rely on one blade to do it all (near impossible) I believe in a system of tools to take care of all of your camp chores.

The 3 blade system is as follow:
 One small pen blade or clasp folding knife for whittling and small utility tasks
 One medium to large sized fixed blade knife for skinning game and processing food.
 One hatchet or camp axe for chopping wood.

Having only seen it on paper I am thinking the Warning could find a place inbetween the small pen knife and the belt knife as a kind of camp utility knife for chores that a pocket knife cant handle.

Of course there is the martial aspect to the Wharncliffe blade as well the fine point with the straight edge can produce a very fine fighting knife. I personally love the straight edge of the Wharncliffe as a utility style knife but I also appreciate its value as a fighter. Michael Janich's philosophy is that no matter what part of the blade makes contact with the skin you are getting equal even pressure the entire time you slice through.

Kos at Lokanian is launching his line of knives sometime in the coming months for more infomation lookup Lakonian Bladecraft on Facebook.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Personal Thoughts: Some people are not looking for logical


"some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."- Alfred Pennyworth

Like probably every single other person on the planet I woke up (or rather tuned into the news while on shift) to the tragic shooting that struck an Aurora, Colorado based movie theatre just the other day and took the lives of twelve souls while wounding nearly sixty.

When I first read this I immediately thought back to that quote from The Dark Knight and have more or less concluded that this individual basically wanted to be his own little ode to the Joker. Time will tell if I am right in this regard.

I am something of a student of conflict and violence. I study terrorist attacks, spree shooters, organized crime and serial killers. I spend my mornings, evenings and basically any time that I am in front of a computer (which is almost always) pouring over news reports and case studies of things like the 1998 Real Irish Republican Army car bomb attack of Omagh, Northern Ireland much in the same way people read the sports page and check how the play-offs are going.

In my chosen field one has to truly have an understanding for certain things and violent people is one of them. And what may surprise some people is that at the core there really is no mystery to them. In the countless number of profiles and case studies I have read most of these people do not "just snap" over some event. Some claim that of course when the case goes to trial but typically they do it simply because they want to.

Lets talk about a seventeen year old girl named Brenda Spicer for a moment. Miss Spicer a seventeen year old high school student woke up on the morning of January 29th 1979 opened her bed room window and took aim at a play ground at the elementary school across the street with her .22 rifle and started firing on the children killing two and wounding eight as well as injuring the school principal and a police officer who were rushing to help the children.When she was finally arrested she didn't fight, she didn't complain, she just said "I don't like Mondays; this livens up the day."

Some consider this to the be first true school shooting carried out by a youth in American history. 

some things that Miss Spicer later said while in custody include "I had no real reason for it, it was just a lot of fun." "It was like shooting ducks in a row. The children looked like a herd of cows."

Now some people would claim that is a spree shooting, That the girl just snapped and nobody could have seen it coming but in fact Brenda was quoted as saying even months before the shooting things such as "One of these mornings, you're gonna look for me", "No one understands me", "You don't have to wait very long to see what is going on with me" her family reported how she "Fantasized about being a sniper" a classmate reported weeks prior that she said she wanted to "blow a policemans head off"

Now on there own these individual pieces of data may hold very little value but when you combine them you can start to build a profile on this person and it starts to paint a rather dark picture of who this person was. Somewhere this individual, this Mr Holmes has left a trail of clues to his activities and they are just waiting to be pieced together.

While I was at work the other day I recieved a text message from a colleague wanting me to weigh in on this professionally. At the time I did not have enough data yet to truly comment but it had got me thinking. There are three kinds of people on this earth, those who commit evil, those who want to reason with evil, and those who will stand against it. When "Dark Knight" came out a few years ago I saw many people with pictures and t-shirts and various other items adorned with the face of Heath Ledger's "Joker" on it. Now while the performance (the actors final performance) was absolutely fantastic in my personal opinion we need to realize that evil is not to be embraced. It is something to be fought against tooth and nail and at all costs.

I am personally someone who hates the sheepdog persona or to be specific I hate the word as I feel the term has been devalued by youtube gun stars. Having said that though we must acknowledge that not everyone is a sheepdog by nature. However, if our culture continues to penalize those who are for the actions of the "wolves", then we will find that we will start to have fewer and fewer "sheepdogs" as time passes.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Petition in with the White House to make the Transportation Security Administration adjust their operational policies.

 The TSA is no stranger to the media and scandals. the US Federal Security Agency that is tasked with providing a security presence at US based airports as well as providing access control and pre-screening to aircraft has in the last few years adopted some rather controversial policies to include, the use of full body scanners, pat downs that in a lot of peoples eyes go beyond the scope of acceptable search policies.

Airport Security is typically more about the feeling of safety then the actual creation of a fully secured environment. That is in my professional opinion something that is not even possible. Airports are too large and have too many people moving through them to truly keep the location safe and secure. This is not to say we should not make the effort to protect our airports however in all my time frisking and patting people down without going IN their clothing I have never felt a lack of confidence in my ability to find something.

Well since July of 2011 people have stopped putting up with it. Numerous organizations have begun to call the TSA on their actions and a petition is up on the White House government website demanding a change to TSA operational procedures.

I am not an American Citizen though I do feel for the state of security and downright inappropriate actions
of key components of the various national level security services. I do not think these tactics are the answer to combating terrorism. I can see why the TSA went that way and introduced these in my opinion inappropriate levels of searching but that doesn't mean we have to stay there.

Security and Order can be both established and maintained while still treating people as people and not suspects. It takes a highly trained highly professional security practitioner with a strong work ethic however THAT is the change we should be seeing in this post 9/11 world improving the standards and quality of the individual security professionals.

If you are an American citizen and you oppose the current policies put out by the TSA then I urge you to sign the petition.

Monday, July 9, 2012

We are on Facebook now.


In the interest of getting to know our readers and expanding the Greyman Group we now have a page on facebook you can join.

The Greyman Group on Facebook

I am really hoping to see this project grow and hope to get to know our fanbase


Saturday, June 30, 2012

TRAVEL SECURITY WARNING: Upgrade for TSA Approved locks could enhance ones personal security while travelling.


Bryan Black over at ITS Tactical just posted a video regarding TSA Approved locks in the sites Physical Security Section regarding TSA Approved locks and how your luggage regardless of a locking device can be penetrated with something as simple as a pen.

For those who do not know what TSA locks are they are essentially regular luggage locks with a key bypass. The TSA is allowed to open and search air passengers' luggage for security screening in the U.S They are also allowed to cut open, destroy, or otherwise disable locks during a search these locks permit the TSA to open the luggage without breaking the lock. However as Bryan will point out in the attached article the lock is feel good security as a simple pen can bypass the zipper. 

Enter Bryan and ITS Tactical:


We’re presenting a security announcement today surrounding the protection of your valuables while traveling. The technique of using a ballpoint pen to open any luggage utilizing a zipper, is one that’s been publicly disclosed for some time now.

There are unfortunately many that aren’t aware of this risk, or that it leaves no tell-tale sign that the suitcase has even been tampered with. As you’ll see below in our video demonstration, by simply shoving a ballpoint pen into the zipper track, you can pull the suitcase lid open and access the interior contents. Then with a simple movement of a still-locked zipper slider you can reseal the suitcase without leaving evidence of tampering.

We also offer some suggestions in this article on what you can do to further secure your luggage while traveling, both physical items that afford you extra security and knowledge that will help you the next time you travel.

Travel Security Caveats

The fact of the matter remains that any suitcase, luggage or pack that utilizes a zipper is susceptible to this attack. There are some ideas we’d like to present here that will at least either secure the interior contents of your suitcase or provide evidence that your belongings have been tampered with.
Before getting into that, know that there’s no perfect method to protect a suitcase that’s out of your direct control. Once you turn over your luggage to the airline, there’s always a risk of never getting it back. Luggage gets “lost” all time, never to be reunited with its owner. Knowing this, we hope that you always decide to keep your valuables and irreplaceable items in a carry-on that’s always in your control.
Something else to be cognizant of is continuing to watch the overhead bin you’ve just put your carry-on into until the flight attendant shuts it. We’ve heard horror stories of someones carry-on being ripped off right on the airplane by another passenger on their way to their seat. They simply move the carry-on to the overhead bin near their seat and leave the plane with your bag before you even know it’s gone.

Increasing Your Odds

Security as a whole is only to either buy you time, or visually and physically harden what you intend to secure. That being said, the options we’re presenting here are just that. Either options to buy you the time to inconvenience a would-be thief, or make them disregard your belongings as a target.

Pacsafe

The first item you can use to secure valuables inside your suitcase is a Pacsafe, which is steel cable webbing that surrounds bulky contents with a lockable drawstring. To utilize this, you’ll need to have a luggage frame to route the cable around. Most suitcases with collapsible handles have this underneath the liner. If you don’t have a liner you can unzip to access these struts, you may have to make cuts to feed a cable through.
These Pacsafes are also great for using once you get to your destination. You can put a bag or other contents in them and lock it to a bed frame in a hotel room when you have to leave. While anyone with bolt cutters or lock picks can get into them easily, just remember its intended purpose. To either buy you time or visually and physically harden.

In-Car Gun Lockers

Another option for your valuables are In-Car Gun Lockers from Center of Mass. These lockers have so many applications and can be utilized for everything from suitcases to vehicles for storage of valuables and handguns. These also feature a steel cable that can be girth hitched around the struts in your suitcase or even to the frame of the seat in your vehicle.
Travel Security 02TSA requires a locked case inside of your suitcase for transportation of a firearm when traveling and these In-Car Gun Lockers are perfect for this. Again, is this a completely full proof method? No, but here’s the broken record… It’s to buy you time or visually and physically harden. These lockers can also be keyed alike when purchased, or come in a combination lock configuration, which is less pick-resistant than the double-sided key required to open the keyed lockers.
One last benefit of these are that you can keep a handgun securely stored in a vehicle with an In-Car Gun Locker while visiting establishments that don’t allow concealed carry. Examples of these are federal buildings, post offices and private property with properly posted signage.

Hard Cases

Probably the most costly option today is to travel with a heavy hard case like a Pelican Case. This will surely add to the weight of your belonging and tip you into the “overweight” category with the airlines. If cost isn’t an issue with what your traveling with, this may be the best option, as you can securely lock Pelican Cases with multiple locks.
Just remember padlocks can always be shimmed or picked open and relocked without leaving tell-tale signs.


Anti-Theft Luggage Zipper Strap

While a misnomer, the Anti-Theft Luggage Zipper Strap won’t prevent theft, but it will give you a visual indication of tampering. This inexpensive option simply prevents a would-be thief from re-closing your suitcase after they’ve gotten into it by opening the zipper track with a pen. This will obviously give you the indication of a break-in, but also won’t allow them to re-close it.
This can be a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good in the sense that it will tell you if someone has tampered with your suitcase, but by not allowing the thief or the airline to re-close it you could be setting yourself up for lost contents or worse, your suitcase never arriving.

Shipping Your Suitcase

One last option is to ship your suitcase. While you’re still susceptible here as you are with the airlines, there’s another degree of security you’re afforded by having your suitcase in an nondescript cardboard box.
Just like with the airlines, loss and theft still run rampant and there’s also the hassle of setting up a destination to ship your luggage to.

http://www.itstactical.com/intellicom/physical-security/travel-security-announcement-breaking-into-a-suitcase-with-a-ballpoint-pen-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/

Edged Weapons of the Second World War

One thing the Second World War was great for was the invention of edged weapons. Some of my personal favourite edged weapons came out of WW2. This article is going to cover a small handful of such weapons. In fact two of the biggest names in knife fighting William Fairbairn and Eric Sykes got their break because of such weapons.

During the second world war these lads and their system trained thousand of clandestine operatives from the USA, Canada, Great Britian and France in hand to hand and edged weapon combat. They also invented a fantastic little knife appropriately named the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife.


A double edged dagger the philosophy behind the F-S Fighting Knife was to surprise the opponent. The Slender blade profile was meant to penetrate the ribcage and pierce throug bone wth ease. The philosophy is furthur explained by this excerpt from Fairbairns own book.

"In close-quarters fighting there is no more deadly weapon than the knife. In choosing a knife there are two important factors to bear in mind: balance and keenness. The hilt should fit easily in your hand, and the blade should not be so heavy that it tends to drag the hilt from your fingers in a loose grip. It is essential that the blade have a sharp stabbing point and good cutting edges, because an artery torn through (as against a clean cut) tends to contract and stop the bleeding. If a main artery is cleanly severed, the wounded man will quickly lose consciousness and die."

Included in the training system was the study of anatomy and target areas. A spreadsheet was drafted up showing the effectiveness of key striking points and the speed each point rendered death.


According to some old training pictures I found the primary deployments include the slashing at the arm in the vicinity of the elbow or rakeing down the arm toward the wrist in response to an opponent grabbing you, thrusting into the neck aiming for the common carotid artery and thrusting straight down into the area near the shoulder.




the F/S Fighting Knife remained in service for many years and today an original dagger makes for a fine edition to a collection. Modern working replicas are available though mileage will vary based on manufacturer.

A similar double edged dagger saw service with the unit that would become the precursor to all modern special operations forces in North America the joint Canadian-American unit the First Special Service Force, The blade developed by FSSF Officers became known as the V-42 Stiletto.


Developed primarily by Col Robert T Frederick of the FSSF who seeked a fighting knife that could silently eliminate enemy soldiers as well as perform the role of close-quarters combat. The V-42 was based off of features from the F-S fighting knife. Key differences from the F-S included a thinner stiletto blade which allowed optimized penetration. It is documented that the V-42 could easily penetrate an Issued US helmet with ease. An addition to the blade was a pommell on the hilt of the blade capable of caving in a foes skull. The thumb groove on the V-42 was designed to promote a flat grip with the thumb over the crossguard, which positioned the double-edged blade horizontally allowing smooth entry between ribs.

The sheath was abnormally long in design to incorporate the use of a cold weather parka due to the forces original training being based around winter operations.

Today the knife can be found on the crests of JTF-2 and the US Army Special Forces. Canada and the USA's premiere special operations forces.


alongside the use of fighting knives the second world war saw several unique E&E and last ditch knives one of which was the OSS thumb dagger seen in this photo alongsde a OSS sleeve dagger.


The concept behind the thumb dagger was to give an OSS Spy a last ditch knife to escape captivity with. The blade was typically sewn into a part of the agents clothing that would not be felt throughly during a frisk search. The concept of the thumb daggers deployment as a weapon was about about quickly enducing "psychological shock"  into the foe quickly to eliminate the odds of the opponent chasing you. One of the key moves to do that was stabbing the foe in the eyeball and slash at the throat.

Primarly though the knife was used as a tool to escape captivity, cut through rope it was not exactly intended as a fighting knife. The OSS/SOE developed a plethora of unnique E&E knives.

Two unoffical copies of the thumb dagger exist today the Mantis MU-3 and the 888 Professional S.O.L




All in all I could write on WW2 blades forever and even just focusing on OSS/SOE knifes would eat up a lot of time but this is just to serve as a taste of the edged weapons of the Second World War.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

EDC: Maintenance.


I had read a post on another blog that made reference to an anecdotal story about asking an Air Force Maintenance Chief about airplanes. The Chief had this little piece of wisdom to share "A plane is like being in love with a crazy woman. If you don't keep your eye on her and love her she'll either mess around on you or kill you." when asked about what caused most planes to crash "Now either the Pilot making a bad call on the weather or lack of good maintenance....somebody starts cutting corners and lives are lost."

Poor maintenance leads to poor performance. For the "EDCer" or Security Professional I advise a weekly ritual for gear inspection. Clean your kit, inspect for damage, perform function checks and then pack everything back where you found it. This will be from the perspective of a Security Professional so some items will not apply to a Civilian EDC.

Things to consider bare in mind your equipment list may vary depending on personal kit and or position of employment. adjust accordingly.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional smith, nor am I a metallurgist, nor am I certified to perform maintenance on these devices by any reputable source. Do your due diligence to ensure that any suggested methods will not damage your equipment also be sure you know HOW to do this safely and properly.

Pocket Knife:

Take the knife and do a function check. Ensure the blade flicks open and locks nice and firmly. check for blade wobble, Inspect for rust or damage, clean and lubricate pivot points if needed, tighten pivot screw if need be. On a lot of lower quality knives the pivot screw can loosen from regular use so tighten if needed,  touch up the edge if needed, after maintenance is complete perform function check again and then put back where it belongs.

Multi Tool

Open the tool and do a function check of all tools. Ensure that the tools open and are not damaged, Inspect for rust or damage, clean and lightly lubricate if needed, touch up knife blades if needed, after maintenance is complete perform another function check and then put back where it belongs.

Flashlight:
Inspect the body of the light for rust or damage, do a function check and then do a self blinding test, if not bright enough to blind then replace batteries. clean if necessary after maintenance is complete perform another function check and put back where it belongs.

Baton
open baton, inspect for rust or damage, do a function check and if necessary disassemble (be sure you know HOW to do this before you try it.) especially important if Baton came into contact with sea water or damp environments recently.DO NOT LUBRICATE. Friction lock batons by there name require friction lockup to function properly. reassemble, function check 3 or 4 times. collapse and place back where it belongs.

Cell Phone
Inspect phone for damage, if in a protective case remove and inspect inside of case for moisture. ensure battery is charged. if spare batteries are carried ensure a full charge in those as well. clean surface of phone. ensure charger is packed

Gear Bag:
Organize contents for the coming week, remove any garbage or useless items, 

Duty Belt:
Inspect belt and pouches for fraying or damage. check pouches to ensure the belt loops have not loosened or snapped, if dirty wipe down with a clean rag.

Uniform
Inspect for damage, empty pockets, clean uniform, iron if necessary, clean boots, polish boots to a shine, deal with any loose threads, hang up

Miscellaneous Electronics
ensure batteries are stocked, rechargable ones are full charges, power adaptors and necesarry cables are packed away neatly, inspect items for damage and take appropriate action if need be.

Medical Kit:
Check expiration dates on medications, inspect bandages or other packaged items for damage to packaging ensuring the items are sterile, replace anything that was used.

In general take care of your equipment and your equipment will take care of you. Perform consistent regular maintenance to ensure things stay in tip top shape. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Possibility of Starship travel within 100 years?


So as I sit here reading the news on my night shift a story popped up that peaked my interest. But first a little back story. Growing up I was a huge Science Fiction fan and to this day I still am. Everything space related. I was never a big science whiz growing up but I loved the concept of traveling this vast unknown encountering new species, discovering foreign technologies and aiding the advancement of mankind. I think thats partly what peaked my interest in military service as it just seemed the closest equivalent as I figured there would never be a space based military or paramilitary styled civilian service.

Until now that is. We all heard about Newt Gingrich wanting to build a permanent establishment on the surface of the Moon and we all had a laugh at crazy newt and his moon base! Though now it seems the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has begun funding the "100 year starship" initiative headed up by the The Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence and partnered with Icarus Interstellar and The Foundation for Enterprise Development. The plan is being headed by Former NASA Astronaut Mae Jemison. The concept is intended to drive the interest of interstellar travel and see a functional starship capable of interstellar travel within the next 100 years.
 
Mae Jemison believes that if the drive was there we could do it right now. But she believes that since first going to the moon humanity stagnated.


"I think that people need an adrenalin rush. Folks need something aspirational, they need to do something that is hard. That’s what ignites the imagination.  I grew up during the Apollo-era, in the 1960s. When I was a little girl: I thought when I had an opportunity to go into space, I thought I would at a minimum be working on Mars, or another large planet because we were doing all of these incredible things. But we stagnated, because we didn’t continue that push. We started to get a little bit timid. Timidity does not inspire bold acts." - From an interview with BBC Future.

What does this mean for Humanity? Well its quite simple. It would allow Human travel beyond our solar system and into another star system. We may finally truly learn what else is out there. I am very excited to see what comes of this. Though I will no doubt die long before the first star ship takes flight The hope is out there.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The "Mask Bill" C-309


Private Members bill C-309, is a proposition that would seek to make it an indictable offence to wear a mask or intentionally conceal ones identity while the individual was actively involved in a a riot or criminal act. 

Key words Criminal act.


The first thing I would like to point out is that private members bills typically do not become law. However even if it did become law I ask you what exactly is the problem? First off it is not a persons right to disguise oneself from authorities under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Nowhere in the Charter does it say that it is a right. So lets just forget that little red herring right from the get go. The act simply seeks to amend and update the Criminal Code with regard to the concealment of ones identity. How is that a bad thing?


To quote the Right Honourable Blake Richards of the Conservative Party of Canada "Canada's justice system should always put the rights of law-abiding Canadians ahead of those of criminals. Canadians are increasingly concerned about the violent and reckless behaviour displayed by those who participate in public riots." We have seen such riots very recently with the Stanley Cup riots in Vancouver last June when the Boston Bruins won the Cup. and more recently St. Patrick’s Day in London, Ontario. A normal festive celebration erupted into a riot involving as many as 1,000 young people fuelled by lowered inhibitions and guided by a mob mentality. These people in the process of "just a little drunken fun" set cars on fire destroyed property and required the local police riot response force to end the incident

Now masks in this instance to the best of my knowledge were not used but Is this socially acceptable behaviour?

When you take part in or commit a criminal act you are not a law abiding citizen you are in fact a criminal. You still have your rights under the CCRF as do all people in Canada however as has already been explained you have zero right to conceal your face or identity while committing a crime.

Riots happen. Does that fact mean the proposed law would withstand a charter challenge? Possibly or it might just fail who knows. Like I said a lot of times private member bills don't go far.

That is up to the Supreme Court of Canada to decide. It isn’t up to Harper, nor the armies of politicians, nor the anarchists or the occupy movement, or the V for vendetta fans. the buck stops with the Supreme Court of Canada.


It is the government’s job to create legislation and the court’s job to interpret it, whether the court supports the intent of the government or not is up to nobody but the court. That’s one of the checks and balances in our system.

Having said that I am not suggesting people dont question the government creating legislation. There are of course reasons to question the government’s motivations in supporting the piece of proposed legislation aimed at making the wearing of a mask or disguise at a protest gone amok a crime. Aren’t there always reasons to question any government’s motivations? But, that doesn’t mean the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is wrong. nor does it make him some kind of horror movie bad guy or "Canadas version of Hitler"

That kind of hyperbole and polarization doesn't do you any favors in making your case.


Bottom line the bill is not an absolute because it is not supposed to be no law is intended as an absolute. That is why a police officer has discretion in the execution of his or her duty and that discretion is used every day by police officers across the country.

The proposed law is intended as a tool for police if they perceive that a group of agitators are about to take a peaceful protest south. Like all police actions, officers are then subject to judgment and scrutiny internally and externally. This is a tool for use against masked criminals taking part in or creating a full fledged riot which is a criminal act. I support the concept proposed by the bill under those circumstances from a position of public safety.