Edward Wilks - The Tradesmen Gun Store - 128 East 3rd Street Rifle CO 81650 Colorado - Advanced Combat Training

Edward Wilks - The Tradesmen Gun Store - 128 East 3rd Street Rifle CO 81650 Colorado - Advanced Combat Training

Edward's Project: The 7 G's

I believe that if I want to be safe and secure in my rights, freedoms, liberties, and life...  I must have the following seven "G's" in abundance…  God, Guns, Grub, Gold, Gas, Ground, Gumption.

Call it what you wish. Moral compass, conscience, morality, spirituality, ethics, values, honor, reverence, humanitarianism, charity, benevolence, love for God, love for your fellow man, love for yourself.

Obviously, this principle has highest importance.  Without it, you’re nothing more than another bad-guy contributing to problems and adding to chaos.  Ask yourself: Does your lack of a code of ethics or dishonest pattern of behavior make you part of the problem?  Or, are you wise, kind, and honorable and a force for good in the world?

People of high moral standard and virtuous character instantly recognize weakness and vulnerability in people and situations and they are well-prepared and totally willing to assist and bless the lives of others. They will aid and sustain others in need.

Conversely, people with low standards, lack of morality, or evil dispositions will also instantly recognize weakness and vulnerability in people and situations.  And, I promise you, they are well-prepared and totally willing to exploit and attack anyone.  They will injure or kill people to take what they want.

This is common-sense. But in a time where people embrace the cliché, “Never discuss politics or religion.” they, themselves, contribute to the indifference and utter ignorance plaguing our world.  If more good and noble people would discuss the blessings of high moral standards and the liberties and freedoms inseparably associated with the proper governance of our Republic, we would not be suffering so much today.

Being obedient to honorable principles, religious values, and spirituals beliefs keeps you in harmony with our world, society, and fellow man.  Mind, Body, and Spirit can then work together to prompt and motivate you in subtle and imperceptible ways.  You’ll find yourself making good and proper decisions and choosing the right more often.

For self-defense and hunting, nothing comforts and empowers a weak, vulnerable, or hungry person like a really great gun!

When selecting firearms, choose those most capable of both providing security for your family, and killing various types of game.  Balance cost, reliability, effectiveness, round-capacity, and enhancements.  I have a saying: “If you find yourself in a fair fight, (animal or person) your tactics and equipment are inadequate.” 

If your firearm is unsafe, ineffective, unreliable, or too difficult to shoot or service, trade it out. Consider the animals where you live. If you live in New Castle, but it can’t hit and kill an elk, or, you live in Silt Mesa surrounded by rabbits, but it’s so powerful it literally particulates the creature leaving no meat to consume, replace it with something more appropriate.

I recommend semi-auto .22 rifles and pistols, bolt-action .308 rifles, pump-action 12 gauge shotguns, semi-automatic .223 rifles, and 9mm pistols. Select brands and models which are popular, combat-proven, and use standard military and law enforcement ammunition which is widely available.  Expensive, massively-powerful, or hyper-accurate firearms are no benefit if you can’t find or afford the bullets.

Side Note: Never underestimate .22 firearms.  The ammo and guns are cheap, portable, and can kill anything from deer to bad-guys.  Anyone who claims otherwise is an inexperienced fool.  Any hunter or police officer will confirm that a .22 can kill just about any living thing with a single, well-placed shot.

Finally, know this: Owning a firearm without lots of ammo, training, and actual experience can be a recipe for disaster.  Know the needs, capabilities, and limitations of your own firearms and experience and then do not exceed them.  Learn from certified instructors or other professionals.

Grub: Do you have food for a month? A week?  After three days without food, the “human” is switched off and the “animal” goes into full survival mode.  Chaos flourishes. Governments cannot help.  Whether you choose to admit it or not, everyone reading this letter would use violence and even kill other human beings to get food.  Remember Hurricane Katrina?  Good, honest church-going Christians turned violent for food and water, while police officers looted businesses and stole cars. 

Consider our local disaster history of snow, rockslides, and fires closing I-70.  Remember when New Castle Police Department shut down I-70 because of fire, then mudslide, then another fire?  Do you recognize how quickly grocery stores are emptied? Instead of pretending you’re exempt or immune, I would exhort you to plan accordingly.

Start with pre-cooked canned foods in their own liquids not requiring water, electricity, fuel, or fire (which may reveal your location). Meal example: stew, green beans, peaches.  Start buying 3 cans of food each trip to the market.  Add freeze-dried foods with a 20-30 year shelf-life (humans can live on just rice and beans if needed); 5-Gallon bottles of water; bleach for purifying more; generational seeds, vitamins, medications, antibiotics, health supplies; dog food. (Your animals need to eat, and, it’ll keep you alive, too.)

Learn about and become proficient in gardening and hunting.  Do you know the best time to plant, cull, and harvest?  Where do you shoot a deer?  What months should you avoid hunting and eating rabbits?  Do you know how to skin animals and dehydrate meat? Can you build a solar still? Practice now and be a force for good when an emergency comes.  Inspire family and friends.  Live!

And remember my saying: “For every spoonful of food, two bullets to defend it!” -Edward Wilks

Financial Strength – Gold, Silver, Cash – Gold bullion, silver coins, cash reserves.  Diversified funds.  Little or no debt.  Specifically, tenth-ounce gold bullion coins.  Large, one-ounce coins cost too much ($1000 each) and cannot be easily divided when smaller denominations are needed.  More smaller, over fewer larger.  Next, silver.  One-ounce silver coins or “rounds.”  Old US gold and silver coins work, but may have more collectible value than bullion worth.  Sell those on eBay for the big amounts, and get more bullion.  Have cash in 1, 5, 10, and 20 bills.  What kind of stock or mutual fund do you have?  Too much?  Not enough?  This isn’t just “End of the Word” type wisdom.  Think about road closures, ice storms, and power outages.  Your local grocery store may begin to run out of food (See Grub) or lose power, but would set up a cashier with a calculator.  Are you really going to use a Twenty-dollar Gold Piece to buy beans?  If banks go under, out, or close during riots or emergencies, where do you get your cash?  Do you have any stashed away at home?  What good is all that if you have so much debt you get evicted and your storage is lost or destroyed?  Gold, silver, cash, no debt.

Financial strength and security.  Diversification; Gold and silver coins here (not stocks or shares, but real coins in your hand), cash over there, savings account here, stocks & bonds there; One- and five-dollar bills for power-outages where stores won’t break large bills.  Quarters to get candy out of vandal-proof vending machines; Even gold jewelry that can be traded. 

In societal breakdown, times of crisis or terror, and especially government breakdown and failures, paper money becomes absolutely worthless.  You could hold out dozens of hundred dollar bills and nobody will even want to talk to you.  However, anyone, at any time, can walk up to any other human, hold out gold and silver coins, and instantly get food, guns, ammo, supplies, and labor.

Here in my store, I have a one-hundred-trillion dollar bill ($100,000,000,000,000) from Zimbabwe.  (In case you missed it, there are 14 zeros.)  It is real.  It is actual currency from that country.  It will only buy you (maybe) half a loaf of bread there.  Four years ago, I bought stacks and stacks of them on-line for nearly nothing and gave them out as Christmas gag-gifts.  But I also did it to clearly illustrate exactly where our dollar is headed.  The history is that Zimbabwe has printed money so much and so often that their dollar has lost all value.  We have been doing the same thing here in the U.S.A. now that our dollar’s value has been cut in half in just that last few years.  Do people not remember the Weimar Republic where printing money was so out of control that citizens needed wheelbarrows of cash just to buy a small loaf of bread, and children played with entire bulk-blocks of bills as toys?

Article. I., Section. 10. of the United States Constitution commands that we shall not “make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts”.  When we left the gold and silver standard, we “excused” the wisdom of our founding fathers and printed “Silver Certificates.”  That was the seminal moment where you can clearly see where our nation’s financial strength and security was destroyed.  However, it used to be that if our nation wanted to print that paper dollar, the mint would request permission.  “May we print a million silver certificates?”  Leaders would requisitely ask, “Did you deposit a million dollars worth of silver into the United States Treasury?”  Now, our nation has been trying to print its way out of debt... eight hundred billion dollars at a time.  There is never enough gold to back our printed currency, and we are digging a hole from which we may never recover.

Gold and silver have been used as world-wide currency for more than 5000 years .  They have never been worth “zero” and the value has always climbed each year.  Every country and trader in the world accepts gold and silver regardless of what country minted it. 

History has shown repeatedly that families with gold in the form of coin or jewelry were able to use it to buy their way out of certain dangerous areas.  Fighter pilots even have gold coins sewn into their flight suits so they can buy their escape and evasion if shot down in enemy territory.  Foreign customers have come into my store, and with no English whatsoever, have set gold coins down on my counter, pointed at cash.  Knowing exactly what they wanted, I looked up the price of gold, the current “spot value” of their coin, and laid out dozens of hundred dollar bills.  They nod, pick up my cash, and leave their Krugerrands, Sovereigns, or whatever the coins may be.

Start with silver coins... what we call “junk silver” meaning that it is 90% pure silver U.S. coins from 1964 and before.  Start with dimes, then quarters, halves, up to dollars.  Then, move to gold.  Start with tenth-ounce, move to up until you eventually even have one-ounce gold coins.  Avoid 100-OZT bars of silver and other large units as it will be impractical or impossible to cut them down into smaller sizes for trade. 

Keep these things secured with your firearms at home in a large safe.  Having all your eggs in one basket (gold in the safe deposit box and cash in a savings account) does you no good in disaster where banks are closed, destroyed, or looted.  Buy a large, heavy safe.  Place it in your home reasonably out of sight, bolt it to the floor and walls, and fill it with lots of ammunition on the bottom so it cannot be lifted or moved.

Many ask about fakes.  You are wise to be cautious.  The best way to avoid fake gold and silver is to be totally familiar and fully educated in various coins.  First, buy only from reputable dealers.  Read and learn about ways to spot fake metals.  You can even buy gold and silver metal-testing acid kits for about eight dollars.  The more you learn and know... the more you have and handle and see... the better you will be at spotting fakes.

Remember how our parents told us that in their day, they could buy a cup of coffee for a dime; almost two gallons of gas for a quarter; a really nice meal for fifty cents; for a dollar, they could go to a movie, buy popcorn, a soda pop, candy, and still have change left over; and for eight dollars, they could buy a gun?  Today, a silver dime is worth $3.00, a silver quarter is worth $7.00, a silver half-dollar is worth $15.00, and a silver dollar is worth $28.00.  Guess what you can exactly duplicate with those coins today.

Consider this: Let’s pretend you could go back in time to the year 1964.  And, you take some old hundred dollar bills from that period that you bought off of eBay for $115 each. Now let’s say you walked into a bank and asked to exchange that one thousand in paper (10 one hundred dollar bills), for one thousand dollars in coin (two thousand silver half-dollars).  You then came back to the year 2012.  Your large $1000-face-value bag of silver coins is worth $32,000.00!  (When you go back in time, pick yourself up some old Winchesters, Colts, and machine-guns while your at it.  They also did well.)

I want readers to understand that the value of a person’s invention, product, or labor never changes.  Not a bag of potatoes, not a tire, not an installed fence.  The only thing that changes is its relationship to a paper dollar bill.

Gas: Gasoline, diesel, propane, kerosene, lamp oil, candles, firewood, matches, generator, mobile solar panel, batteries, etc.

Recent disasters have once again shown us the importance and advantage of storing extra fuel and power-sources for use in times of shortages and emergencies.  This may become even more crucial in times of cold or winter when not only does it get darker sooner, but the lower temperatures can create a risk to the extremely young or elderly.

Consider purchasing a few standard, red, plastic five-gallon gas cans.  You may already have one around the house for the lawn mower.  Every three to six months, cycle through your gas by using it in your vehicle.  There are fuel-stabilizers you can purchase which help maintain fuels for long periods of storage.  Always keep your vehicle’s tank at least half full in case your family gets stranded away from home and you need to drive somewhere far to get them.  Vehicle gasoline is always the first to run out as people are trying to evacuate or get as much supplies or distance as they can.

As appropriate, store bottles of propane, kerosene, or lamp oils as well as the equipment that goes with them.  Candles and matches can be stored almost indefinitely, but often, when batteries are left in devices too long, they can crack, release, or spill acid, making not only themselves useless, but ruining the apparatus, as well.  Leave batteries in their original packaging until needed.  Cycle through them as well as all the other fuels.

Perhaps it’s time to purchase a generator or mobile solar panel for your home.  These can be used to charge batteries and run some appliances for short term use.  The reality is that only one device in your home needs electricity, and that is your freezer.  And, even that becomes superfluous in the winter.  Simply store your frozen foods outside in the ice or snow.

One or two extra car batteries left on solar trickle chargers are wonderful.  In times of power outages, they can be used to charge cell phones, light your home, even run laptops for an impromptu movie night with the whole family in the living room.

Now, this is important: With the use of these things comes tremendous responsibility.  If you are going to store and use flammable compounds and fuels such as these, great care and experience will help ensure that they do not create risk or disaster.  Carbon monoxide poisoning and fire (from using some of these indoors) is the leading cause of death in situations like this.  When in doubt, consult with your local fire department regarding the best ways and locations to store and use extra fuels in and around your home.  They are happy to counsel citizens in these matters and I promise you it is worth it to have them review your plan and situation.

Ground: Land, dirt, property, your own home, ranch, farm, etc.

One of the most important parts of this type of preparation and readiness is a place to begin, practice, and maintain these principles.

For some, this might mean living on a small parcel of land somewhere outside of city limits, away from other people, where they can have a small garden, some basic farm animals, solar power, their own well, and within traveling distance to other water sources and wild game.  Perhaps their belief is that being out of large urban areas will provide a level of security and a perimeter that is easy to protect and maintain.

For others, it might be a small apartment or house in town, surrounded with good friends and helpful neighbors, implementing things like indoor water storage, a small garden, and a pantry full of food and supplies.  Many people create and maintain a group of like-minded friends that agree to help one another when needs arise.

Ultimately, the decision is yours and nothing written here is meant to construe that living in the city during a disaster will kill you, or living in the county will leave you a hermit bereft of any friends.

Either way, your main consideration should be this: Do you own the “ground” where you currently reside?  Can that “ground” independently maintain and sustain your needs? It does no good to rent an apartment, or even a home with a garage and massive shop filled with scriptures, firearms, food, gold, and supplies if your landlord loses his house to a suffering economy and subsequently evicts you so he can go live in the one thing he still does own.  Where will you go, or live, or store your items if you suddenly have to move?

Owning your own land has always been the best option.  Build, organize, and utilize it the way that best suits the needs of you and your family. 

Finally, choose a close, trustworthy family and plan and organize together.  Understand the needs and strengths of each so that if one location is devastated or evacuated, you move and contribute to the other.  Work together to know and prepare for various possibilities.  Share your own good ideas and plans with those around you. Not only will you minimize your dependency on government aid or rescue, you will be a force for good in your area. 

1. initiative; aggressiveness; resourcefulness:
2. courage; spunk; guts:
3. common sense; shrewdness.

The 7th and final G: Gumption - Tenacity, bold resourcefulness, initiative, courage, spunk, aggressiveness, common sense, experience, wisdom, skill, strength, endurance... “stick-to-itiveness”.

Gumption is a Scottish term, and if you research its etymology, you’ll see why they invented it, and why I use it.  I explain it to my students this way: Gumption is the embodiment of the intrepid and resourceful spirit in those who make due with what they have, for nothing else is (nor ever will be) available to them.  The single mom, the poor rancher, the ill-equipped repairman, the young orphan daughter raising her two baby siblings... they have gumption.  They just never brag about it.

The best way to succeed in the previous six G’s is to be wise regarding morality, virtue, and ethics; vigilant regarding self-defense; experienced in gardening and food storage; studious concerning when (and when not) to buy gold and silver; secure in the diversity and proper storage and use of fuels; thoughtful when and where you buy land and how to use it beneficially.

In short, without the first G, “good moral compass” the other G’s just mean you may be a bad person that can do more harm, to more people, for a longer period of time.  Equally, without the last G, you may prove yourself a fool, whose inexperience and improper behavior lead to bad decisions; misused resources; wasted time, labor, and food; even financial destitution or damaged familial relationships.

Gumption is the opposite of quitting, wastefulness, carelessness, cowardice, foolishness, ignorance, imbecility, impudence, inexperience, ineffectiveness, weakness, and stupidity.

Gumption is awesomeness.

Try these principles and be a good example, be an inspiration, be a force for good!

Gumption: Acumen, acute, adept, agile, alert, apt, astute, astuteness, balanced, bold, brains, brave, bright, calculating, capable, caution, cautionary, circumspection, clear thinking, clever, common sense, compelling, competent, comprehension, courageous, creative, daring, dauntless, discerning, discriminating, dominant, dynamic, efficacious, energetic, enlightenment, erudition, experience, experienced, fearless, foresight, gallant, grit, heroic, imaginative, impressive, information, insightful, intelligent, intrepid, inventive, judgment, judiciousness, keen, knowledge, learning, nimble, pansophy, penetration, perceptive, perspicacious, poise, powerful, practical, practicality, prudent, quick, rational, ready, reasonable, responsible, robust, sagacious, sageness, sanity, sapience, savvy, smart, sophisticated, stable, stalwart, strong, tenacious, thoughtful, understanding, valorous, vigorous, wise.

May I end by saying…     You can have all the gold or food you want, but if you cannot defend it, you will get your family killed and empower bad men.  And, without God - or some proper morality or ethos - you will simply become corrupt.  You might think other items are more important, but without firearms and skill, they (bad guys or government) will take away your religion, your money, your food, your home, your freedoms, your family…

-Edward J. Wilks