This weekly column is a collection of short snippets: responses to posted articles, practical self-sufficiency items, how-tos, lessons learned, tips and tricks, and news items — both from readers and from SurvivalBlog’s editors. Note that we may select some long e-mails for posting as separate letters.

A useful 22-minute instructional video: Basic Radio Comms Setup for SHTF — Featuring UV5R.

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Reader Tim J. recommended this video from Grunt Proof: Why do all YouTube Preppers get Political?

“Bury your head in the sand all you want, but politics do have an affect on your life. Just ask the survivors of the holocaust, or literally every other catastrophe that has ever happened. If you want to prepare for survival, you can start by paying attention to what your elected officials are doing…”

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I just noticed that the documentary titled Tread — about Marvin Heemeyer and the June 4, 2004 Granby, Colorado armored bulldozer incident — is now available for free download, on Vudu. No subscription is required for the version with commercials.

Jerry in Alaska sent this:

“There is a new 2-part Podcast about a Helio Courier aircraft used to rescue a trapped kayaker deep inside Devils Canyon. The podcast is by Sam Carter, and his channel is called RIVER RADIUS.
There are many good survival lessons that can be learned from listening to the recounting of the whole misadventure.
Devils Canyon is on the notorious class 6 Big Susitna River in Alaska. It is considered the Mount Everest of Whitewater. Helicopters were not available and the Kayaker was not likely to survive without intervention. The Helio Courier was the only fixed-wing plane that had a chance of making a rescue.
It is a fun story to listen to with all the people that were involved getting together for the first time. This was an epic trip by expert kayakers that had things go very wrong.”
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Be careful out there, folks!  JWR’s Comment:  You can tell that this is southern California because there is a gas station on every corner of this intersection.

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Reader Ed M. wrote:

“While I understand your concern about the current Senate bill and its magazine limitation provision, you have not mentioned how the Supreme Court’s recent Bruen decision will affect that issue.

The case here in California that caused “Freedom Week,” Duncan v. Becerra, involved a federal court case in which Judge Richard Benitez (now sometimes known as St. Benitez) ruled in an extraordinarily decision comprising 90-some pages that California’s limitation on magazine capacity was unconstitutional.

It was clear from the beginning of the case that neither side was going to accept defeat until all rights to appeal by the loser had been used. California, the loser, appealed his decision to the Ninth Circuit. Happily, a 3-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit affirmed Judge Benitez’s decision. Frustrated, California then requested an en banc review, and it was granted. This process, one that is only occasionally used, involved a review of the decision by 9 or 11 (I forget which) justices from the Ninth Circuit. As was feared, the liberal-heavy Ninth Circuit panel reversed Judge Benitez’s decision and ruled in favor of California.

The case was then appealed to the US Supreme Court. Because the New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen case had beat the Becerra case there, the Duncan case was placed on hold, pending a decision on the Bruen case. When the Bruen case was decided in favor of the plaintiffs, the Supreme Court clearly and unequivocally stated that the 2-step standard for review used by many lower court judges was erroneous. A 3-step process was necessary.

In the 2-step approach, lower courts have looked, first, to determine whether the regulated activity fell within the scope of conduct protected by the Second Amendment. If it determined that it did, then the courts assessed whether the particular regulation or law’s “means justified its ends.”

In Bruen, Justice Thomas wrote that, instead of this 2-step test, the government was required, first, to affirmatively prove that its firearms regulation was part of the “historical tradition” that delimited the outer bounds of the right to keep and bear arms. If a gun law addressed a societal problem existing in the 18th Century, it is evidence that the modern law is unconstitutional if there was no similar regulation in the 18th Century. (I believe that the first limitation on magazine capacity in the US did not come until the 1990s.) This step is where California’s law regarding magazine limitation failed. Lower courts were ordered to use the 3-step test.

As a result of its decision, the Supreme Court remanded California’s Becerra (renamed “Bonta” when Attorney General Becerra took a Cabinet post under Biden and Robert Bonta was appointed California Attorney General) to the Ninth Circuit for a decision consistent with its Bruen decision.

The case is still at the Ninth Circuit and it may be sent back to Judge Benitiez. In any event, California will stall for time, but the bottom line, since Judge Benitez applied the 3-step test (and is now vindicated) there really isn’t much that California can do now except to attempt to stall the final outcome.

Note that it made national news last week when it was discovered that the LAPD issued directions to its officers not to enforce the magazine limitation ban. Apparently, someone in the LAPD actually read the Bruen decision and saw the handwriting on the wall. Clearly, there would be a waste of officers’ time if arrests involving the banned magazines continued. Note that, so far, other California jurisdictions have not taken similar steps, at least publicly.

What is happening in the Senate now is merely a cynical sop in order to pretend that liberal senators are “doing something.” In the unlikely situation in which a “high capacity” magazine ban is passed by the Senate, it will run afoul of the Bruen decision after lawsuits are quickly filed by pro-2nd Amendment groups. Of course, renegade judges sometimes blow-off their obligations no matter what oath they took to uphold the Constitution. (Obeying oaths is, apparently, for the peasantry.) Even so, it will not work this time, and I am not worried.”

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