A Connecticut Yankee Talks About COVID-19 – #3 – Guns and Police Scanners


It comes as no surprise that gun and ammunition sales are up. Here in Connecticut, potential first-time owners are stymied because of a combination of shutdowns and the requirement to first possess a permit in order to exercise a fundamental civil right. So, for those of you who up until now didn’t think you needed a gun, and can’t get one because the process to get a Certificate of Eligibility is on hold, remember that come Election Day.

For the rest of you, I’m going to assume you have not owned a firearm before, and just want to get something for a little piece of mind. Congratulations, you have made a step towards self-reliance, preparedness, and self-determination. Now under normal circumstances, I’d tell you to start with a handgun, and get some training in how to use it for self-defense. However, in many places, handguns are more difficult to rapidly acquire compared to long guns (ie. rifles and shotguns), and require time to become proficient in their use. Long guns, especially in the Northeast, have less restrictions on purchase and/or ownership, and are easier to learn how to safely handle and shoot well.


My recommendation is to get a shotgun, specifically a short, double-barrel side-by-side known as a Coach Gun. If you are of smaller stature, get a 20 gauge, otherwise go with 12 gauge. For ammunition, get a few boxes of buckshot. You are set. In most states, you can simply walk in, buy a shotgun, and leave with it that day assuming your background check goes through OK.

This is probably the safest, most effective home defense firearm for a beginner. It is very easy to check its status (loaded/unloaded) and make safe. Open it up, and look at the chambers. You will either see two shells in them, or not. Since you are a novice, you will want to keep it unloaded until you need to use it, in which case, it only takes a second to insert two shells when the need arises. If you maintain proper situational awareness and security at home, you will have plenty of time to make your shotgun ready if you need to. Finally, those two large diameter barrels are often intimidating enough to fix most problems without firing a shot.

There’s my 11th+ hour gun advice. As always you should check your local/state laws regarding self-defense, castle doctrine, reasonable force, duty to retreat, et al and consult a proper lawyer (not some Internet expert) if you have any serious legal questions.


Police Scanners

There has been a fair amount of discussion, mostly private, regarding an earlier post on National Guard communications monitoring. Based upon the information received, National Guard units are using dedicated talkgroups on their state’s trunked radio system, old-fashioned analog FM the VHF-Low band frequency ranges of 40-42 & 46.6-47.0 MHz, and P25 on 380-400 MHz. So, lacking any other open source information to supplement this data, those are the frequency ranges I would concentrate on.

Now, being that solitary outside activity such as hiking is still considered an acceptable activity in most states during the Coronapocalypse . If I knew of a temporary installation set up somewhere, and there was an open space with hiking trails and few to no people within a 1/4-1/2 mile of said installation, I might go for a hike with a Spectrum Sweeper to see what I could hear. Google Maps is your friend.

Whistler TRX-2

Since states are getting on the trunked P25 bandwagon, it makes sense to get a scanner that has that capability as your first receiver acquisition. My recommendation would be either the Whistler TRX-1 or TRX-2. They are a handheld and desktop scanner, respectively, with P25 and trunking capability. Other than their different form factors, they are the same radio. Which one to get would depend on how you’re going to use it. The desktop has better ergonomics and audio, and if it was going to stay on a desk and never leave home I would go with the desktop version. If you are going to run it in your vehicle, go hiking with it, listen to it in the back yard while working on stuff, et al then get the portable.

Whistler TRX-1


Lever Guns For Self Defense

Nice video for those looking to protect themselves in states where modern sporting rifles are verboten, such as Connecticut and New York.


A Connecticut Yankee Talks About COVID-19

This article brought to you with help from Wyoming Sounds and James McMurtry.

I’d like to start by sharing you a list of COVID-19 articles collected by a former colleague: https://forsdick.weebly.com/covid-19.html.

Now here is the official COVID-19 website from the State of Connecticut, which I’m only calling out because I live here: https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus. In particular, pay attention to https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Coronavirus/CTDPHCOVID19summary3212020.pdf.

Here’s my first observation from this data so far. In Connecticut, it seems to have followed the major highway corridors out of Southeast New York (the epicenter), and likes areas with high population and population density. So, those in the rural parts of this state that have little contact with urbanites or downstate/NY commuters have less to worry about than those on the shoreline or on the major lines of travel in the state. You could also interpret the data to say that money doesn’t replace common sense, because the hot spots in Connecticut are, to put it politely, more affluent than average.

My second observation is that if you are under 60 and otherwise in good health, you probably won’t die from this, but could get really sick, which would still suck, and you could pass it along to someone over 60 you might not want to see dead just yet.

If you followed my (and others) advice over the years, this is just a minor bump in the road. Otherwise, you might be panicking every time Governor Lamont signs another Executive Order.

Personal defense is always a biggie. Thanks to our state’s ineffectual RKBA organizations, and high kleptocrat population (especially in the public sector), you are now well past the 11th hour this time around. Ever since 2013 you needed at least an Eligibility Certificate to buy guns and ammo in this state, and preferably a Permit to Carry Handguns so you can go heeled. In the more permissive towns under normal circumstances (definitely not now) that’s about a two week process after you take the firearms safety class, submit your application, and get fingerprinted. Less permissive towns, like some in Fairfield County, can take longer. Hopefully this latest episode will prompt you to get off your lazy, complacent, yet recently awakened backside and get going on this after things return to the status quo. In the meantime, I’m going to refer you to the following material, complements of my old friend Kurt Saxon: https://archive.org/search.php?query=Kurt+saxon. Since Home Depot and hardware stores remain open for the time being, you might want to get some tools and raw materials if you already don’t have them, and spend your time at home learning a new hobby.

Alternative news and information collection is another big concern, especially since the “fake news” filters on Facebook and other social media are perceived, perhaps rightfully so, by many to operate in a flawed manner. For that I will refer you to https://sigintcomint.wordpress.com/ for more information. Connecticut state agencies, including the State Police have moved to a radio system that requires an expensive piece of kit to monitor, and can implement encryption that would make monitoring by the average person impossible. Your mileage may vary with various local agencies across the state, however, and a less expensive unit may suffice. Shortwave broadcasts are a different manner, and provide an adequate alternate source to what you hear domestically. I have also heard rumors that certain organizations in Connecticut may have acquired broadcast capability and intend to provide their own news and information sources if things start getting worse. Based on previous observations I would scan the bands, but not hold my breath.

Back in the day, you could buy both police scanners and shortwave receivers from my buddies Alex and Bill at Lentini Communications in Newington and then Berlin. Their retail shop is closed now, and I don’t know the extent of their mail order offerings. There is always Amazon, and if they weren’t closed by the latest executive orders you’d be able to drive to either J&S Radio in Willamantic or L&S Communications in Cromwell. They might be open tomorrow (3/23/2020) for one last hurrah. Don’t know just what they carry these days, but call them if it’s important all the sudden that you need some monitoring equipment.

That’s all I got for now. I’ll write more later.