Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

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Mailbag Monday

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From Logan T: I have full glass French doors on my back patio. My wife says that she could kick through them. Do you know of a way to secure them that’s not overly intrusive?

Answer: Many folks like the look of French Doors but there is no doubt they are less secure. The problem is French Doors are weak in the center so they can easily be kicked in.

To help with this, I recommend a product such as NightLock. This is metal plate-looking device that you drill into the floor. Then, you slide on another metal piece and the brace will prevent the door from being kicked in. It’s not a 100% guarantee that it will stop an intruder, but it will at least slow them down enough for you to defend yourself.

As for the glass, you can install security window films such as one from 3M that will help hold the glass in place. Again, this won’t stop the glass from breaking but it will make it more difficult to do so. Lastly, I would install a security system with a glass break sensor. This sensor should be located near the French doors so it can alert you if the glass is broken.


From Jason R: I have a concealed carry permit. I’ll put my semi-auto pistol up against a knife any day of the week. Why do you love knives so much?

Answer: I love both guns and knives and I carry each one daily. The reason I love knives so much is that in close quarters, I can get my knife out faster and do a lot more damage than a gun will. I know you doubt this, but trust me. A trained attacker would have someone dead before they could even get their gun out of the holster.


From Barry W: I’ve heard conflicting things about boiling water to make it safe to drink. Is boiling really enough?

Answer: This is a great question that’s oftentimes confusing. The thing is, you’ve probably heard of cities where local authorities have issued a boil water notice but does it really make the water safe?

First, if you do boil water for drinking you should bring the water to a full boil for about 10 minutes. Also, remember that it may take about 30 minutes for the water to cool down from the boiling point.

Now, if you boil water this will kill viruses, parasites, and bacteria. However, it won’t remove lead, pesticides or any toxic chemicals. In fact, boiling water that contains lead or chemicals can make the water more toxic because when boiling you actually remove water. But, the amount of lead or chemicals remains the same. So, to be safe, I would purchase a quality water filter that removes bacteria as well as chemicals.


From Anna V: Would you consider a revolver better for an elderly petite woman to conceal carry rather than a semi-auto?

Answer: I think everyone who carries a concealed weapon should carry whichever pistol is the best fit for them. What I mean is, when it comes to pistols there is no one size fits all. (Don’t let the salesman at the gun range tell you any different.)

The best thing to do is to go to your local gun range and to rent a few different guns. This should include semi-autos and revolvers if that’s what you think is best. Personally, I prefer to carry a semi-auto pistol over a revolver because they hold more rounds.

However, some folks suffer from arthritis and they are unable to rack the slide on a semi-auto pistol. If you are unable to clear a jam on a semi-auto or can’t manipulate its functions then its not the pistol for you and you should go with a revolver.

If you do go with a revolver, both Ruger and Smith & Wesson make the best revolvers.


From Katy E: In the past you’ve mentioned putting signs up at your home regarding having a security system on premises. I have read other articles stating that just attracts would be burglars to break in since they think you must have something to protect. Do you have any thoughts about that?

Answer: I’ve heard this argument too and I disagree. (And I’ve had police friends who interviewed criminals who said when they were casing houses they wanted ones without any alarm.)

Most burglars are looking for easy access to homes and they don’t want to set off the alarm. Typically, burglars aren’t masterminds and won’t be planning an elaborate burglary.

The fact is, if I am a burglar, I want the home with the easiest access, not the home that’s going to set off a loud alarm that notifies police.


From Lenny D: I have a food-grade 30 gallon water barrel. What do I need to make the water stay fresh? Thanks for your help.

Answer: One of the biggest keys to making the water stay fresh is to store the water in a cool, dry place. In other words, if you store your barrel in a garage where the temperatures can reach the 100’s in the summer then the water won’t stay fresh as long.

In addition, you want to store the barrel on top of two 2X4’s or off the ground. This will reduce the chances of the floor leaching chemicals into the water.

Finally, some people will recommend treating the water, however this isn’t something I think is a must, because if you are filling the barrel with tap water then the water has already been treated with chemicals by the municipality that supplies your water.


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