Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

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Mailbag Monday

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From Greysen P: I would point out that another reason to not follow the crowds after an explosion is the dangers inherent in a human stampede.

Answer: You make a great point. I’m sure we have all heard stories of people being trampled during an emergency or sadly even during Black Friday shopping. The reality is, a panicked crowd where everyone is trying to get through the same exit can turn deadly if you fall down. This is definitely another reason to not follow the crowd.

From Allison W: I have bought two tactical pens from you, already. I keep one on my person at all times, as well as one in my car. I was however thinking of getting one for all of my siblings and their kids. Do you recommend people of all ages carry these pens?

Answer: One of my favorite things about the tactical pen is that it’s simple to use no matter what your age is. What I mean is, for the tactical pen to be effective in stopping an attacker you don’t have to know 50 different ninja moves. You simply jab the attacker wherever possible to hopefully create the opportunity to escape to safety. So, I know children of all ages are carrying tactical pens and it’s up to the parents to decide at what age their child is mature enough to have this tool. (For instance, my 3-year-old son is not a good candidate for a tactical pen.) Click here to see the Tactical Spy Pen.

From Falah L: If a person is considered a felon just for cashing a check received by mail, then turns out was scam, a nonviolent crime, bogus in my opinion but oh well, does that mean that person doesn’t or shouldn’t have the right to protect or defend their family with a weapon? If said person was getting threats by phone and possibly needing protection and police laugh instead of helping, can said person purchase a firearm for protection use only?

Answer: Now, I’m not a lawyer, but convicted felons are banned from owning firearms. With that being said, a convicted felon can petition a court to have their right to own guns reinstated. This is oftentimes decided on a case-by-case basis by the court. Many felons have been convicted of non-violent crimes and have had the right to own guns given back to them. For the person you mentioned, I would recommend documenting all of the threats they are receiving and calling the police. I understand you said the police aren’t doing much but it’s still important to notify them. In addition, if owning a gun weren’t an option I would consider another weapon such as a flashlight stun gun, a knife, a baseball bat, etc.

From Mitch G: Could you please discuss pros and cons of owning a .22 vs. 9mm handgun for home defense and/or concealed carry?

Answer: When it comes to home defense or concealed carry I recommend a 9mm over a .22 for the simple fact that the 9mm has more stopping power. Even though a .22 can cause damage and easily kill someone, the 9mm is more powerful and provides more power. For example, a 9mm round can penetrate 12 inches. A .22 round won’t penetrate that far and when you are trying to stop an attacker you want to stop the threat, which is usually done by damaging a vital part of the body. I would definitely stick with a 9mm round for home defense. (I use Speer Gold Dot as my 9mm home defense ammo.)

From Steve T: Wouldn’t it be a good idea if car manufacturers re-designed the tongue portion of the seatbelt in a way that it could be used as a glass-break tool? Is there anything else inside your car that would work?

Answer: That’s a good idea but I’m not sure car manufactures would ever go for it. I always have a knife, or some sort of glass breaking device close by because using anything else can be difficult. Of course, if you had a heavy object in your car it might be able to break the window but that’s not something I would plan on. The fact is, when your car is filling with water you typically have less than a minute to get out before it’s submerged so I would plan ahead with a tool in your console or glovebox in case you ever find yourself in this situation. I also carry my NOC Knife which has a glass breaker pummel on the end for this type of situation. To see what the NOC Knife can do click here.

From William O: Where do I buy a generator that doesn’t use gas?

Answer: You can buy a propane generator from most hardware stores including Home Depot, however they may have to special order it so I would check with the store first. In fact, I own a Sportsman 7,000 watt propane generator that I purchased for around $700.

From Mark W: I have been looking online at several different models of new vehicles, and one of the options I have seen on virtually every one of them is a universal garage door opener. This seems like a gross security violation. All a burglar would have to do is wait on a block until he sees a family leave their home, then pull into their driveway, press his remote, and pull into the garage and shut the door again…

Answer: I’m sure many garage openers of the same model use the same frequency or code to open a garage. So you are right that it would be simple for a criminal to drive through a neighborhood and push the opener and see if any garage doors are synced with the same opener as the car. Unfortunately, garage doors are often times an easy way for criminals to access a home so I would opt out of using the universal door opener in the car.

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  • Ray says:

    You mentioned storing ammunition. Does ammunition have a “shelf life”.

    • Jason Crawford says:

      Hey Ray,

      Ammunition doesn’t really have a shelf life. You just need to make sure that it is kept dry, preferably without any extreme temperatures. Aside from that, the other major storage consideration is keeping it out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have it (children, thieves, etc.).

      Good Luck!

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