Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

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Mailbag Monday

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I’m a first-time gun owner. I live in a conservative state and plan to get a concealed permit. My concern is that my name will be on a government record as having a permit. Is this bad?

-From Dawn T.

Answer: Unfortunately, this is simply a necessary evil if you want to legally conceal a weapon. Obtaining a concealed weapons permit does put your name in a government database, just like obtaining a driver’s license does.

However, I would still recommend getting a permit if you are going to carry concealed so you don’t break the law.

​If you live in a state where you can open carry a firearm without a permit, this may be a better option if you don’t want your name in a database.

The key is to make sure you follow open carry laws so you don’t get into the gray area of open vs. concealed carry.


From a security standpoint, is it safer to conduct financial transactions at a big bank or a credit union?

-From Janice A.

Answer: Both banks and credit unions are commonly targeted by scammers and hackers. Now, large banks such as Wells Fargo are more likely to be targeted than a small community credit union simply because the hackers believe the payoff will be bigger for a larger institution.

With that being said, big banks such as Wells Fargo spend a considerable amount of money on cyber security, therefore the security they have in place is probably going to be much better than your smaller credit union.

​At the end of the day, you should really go with whatever institution you feel more comfortable with. Big banks have more security in place, but your small-town credit union may never be on a hacker’s radar.


My son’s birthday was last week. I got him a paintball gun. It got me thinking, would you ever use a paintball gun in defense? I know it won’t kill anyone but would it stop them?

-From Aaron R.

Answer: Police across the country use less lethal methods to stop rioters including paintballs, pepper balls, rubber bullets, and even flash bangs.

While these may work to disperse a crowd, I wouldn’t recommend paintball guns for home defense.

First, paintball guns are inaccurate. The paintball leaving the gun always goes off course. The balls of paint are not perfectly shaped and easily deviate.

The other problem is that paintball guns have no stopping power. What I mean is, I could run down a hallway towards you and no matter how many times you hit me with a paintball gun it won’t stop me.

During a home defense situation, I always recommend having a real firearm since this could be a life and death situation.


I’m a single woman in my 60’s. I live alone and have no family nearby. My son wants me to get a shotgun for home defense. He says I need a 20-gauge. Is this a good idea?

-From Bonnie R.

Answer: I recommend going to your local gun store and renting a few different guns to see what you are most comfortable with. I would try pistols as well as long guns.

When it comes to shotguns, a 20-gauge is a good choice for home defense compared to larger calibers. A 20-gauge shotgun will be easier to handle, have less recoil and provide more than enough stopping power.

I would try and find a friend who owns a .20 gauge to see if it’s the right fit for you. If you decide to buy one, I would check out the Remington 870 in .20 gauge.


My family was on summer vacation in Yellowstone when the flooding hit. We were lucky to get out when we did. With the water overflowing the roads I worry about what we would have done if we were tapped in our car? What do we do to survive?

-From Jake M.

Answer: If you ever find yourself in a sinking car you will typically have 30-60 seconds to escape before the car is submerged. Now, once a car is in the water it’s very difficult to open the doors so you immediately want to roll down the windows.

The longer you wait to roll down the windows the harder it will be to do so. If you can’t roll down a window and you need to smash one out, use whatever window is closest to you.

You want to kick in the corner of the window (where it’s stiffest) and not in the middle to break the window. If you are using a hard object or a tactical pen, you still want to strike in one of the corners of the window.


I’ve heard that stockpiling distilled water for an emergency is better than storing regular tap water? Any truth to this?

-From Brandon R.

Answer: Distilled water is one of the cleanest water sources you can store. What I mean is, distilled water only contains a trace amount of minerals.

When distilled water and air mix some contamination will occur. However, due to the purity of distilled water, the contamination that will occur will be minimal compared to normal water.

Don’t forget, the container you store your distilled water in will play a key role in the shelf life of your water.

Also, if you use any type of medical equipment that requires water, it’s best to use distilled water.

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