Background check for group

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by bunkerbob, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    I was thinking that as a MAG group forms and trust becomes an issue, would it be wise or unwise for each individual to provide a paid background check for themselves. This I would image could help in determining who would or would not be invited into a group. It could end most fears for some or all that the person has some ethical or moral values, partially mind you, determined by their past behavior. From the criminal aspect to the numerous address changes, state to state and city to city, and their 'also know as' names and associated acquaintances.

    I know it wouldn't be a fix all, or caveat lector not to be included, but again just another tool in that trust process.

    I believe it is going to be hard to trust someone in the short term, and then, to be included into your preparedness and goals of the group even if they tout their belief in these ideals.

    My family and long time friends and neighbors of course have over the years proved to a point their trustfullness in these areas, and like we have discussed many times before, you really can never know how someone is really going to act or perform in a emergency crisis or situation.

    What do you think? Does that make sense?

    The reason I pose this question is that I have recently visited a group and have not had time to get to know anyone well enough for including them into my preparation location and equipment. I guess time will tell, that is if we just have enough time.
  2. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?


    My understanding of a MAG (Mutual Aid Group) is just that. Each house-hold is completely independant of the next house-hold, but, all the house-holds in the group, being loosely tied with one another will look out for the next one.

    In the backcountry clubs that I am part of, we have a public meeting place seperate from the den-of-zen (home). Each member of the club will create their own close friendships but it isn't expected that each member will open their homes to the whole club. I might have the home address of all the members (well, I do because of my position in the clubs), but, many of the members have never seen me outside of the official meetings and club get-togethers.

    In those kinds of cases, a background check isn't really required because, other than those who organize the group, you as a member only choose to become friends with those that you wish to become friends with. IF there is someone in the MAG who sends off bad vibes - don't invite them over.

    Now, if there are people in the existing MAG that you don't trust, create your own MAG and loosely tie it with the originating MAG for group-support (ie: purchasing power for group-buys).

  3. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

    I posted a response here a bit ago and just noticed it isn't here. I could have hit the wrong button and not placed the post or it could have been a glitch in the matrix-but just to try and reclaim my thoughts...

    I believe that anyone who purchased a firearm will have had a background check done on them as a part of that process. I'm not sure because my wife had a couple guns when we got together and those are mainly the ones I use. I won a .300 and bought a shotgun a few years ago but don't remember the particulars. Point is, if a member shows a reciept or something to prove that they purchased a gun within, say, the last year, could that count as a background check? If they cannot, then they pay for the check.
  4. Turtle

    Turtle Well-Known Member

    Well, that's a pretty good idea to cover the major violent crimes, but it wouldn't cover all of the problems that could arise. You could also check the sex offenders websites for your area.

    But I'd hazzard a guess that the best way to get to know people is just to put in the time.
  5. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    I go along with Naekid's advice. If it's a loosely organized MAG then membership should be enough. It might be a good way to meet people to recruit into something more in which case you could get to know them better and a background check might be in order.

    Just a question: in MAG are there any requirements to have a minimal amount of skills, supplies, etc. to actually aid others in the group or would some people be there to get aid but not necessarily give aid?

    Also on background checks: They have some good points and bad ones. I wouldn't necessarily exclude someone due only to a background check. Mine is good (I've had them for a Concealed Weapon Permit and employment as a Security Guard and as the Executive Director of a Christian Camp) but I know of a couple instances where people are on a "sexual offender" list because of statutory rape when it was a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship gone too far. (In one case the mother of the girl encouraged the relationship then turned the boyfriend in to authorities later.) What I'm saying is that passing (or failing) a background check is not definitive of who or what you may encounter in an individual. It's just a tool.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  6. mdprepper

    mdprepper I sold my soul to The_Blob. He had candy...

    Just my .02 but.... I have known some folks that look great on paper, and I would not trust them to take care of a goldfish, much less my future. A back ground check will tell you what they have been caught doing, NOT what they have gotten away with. I have known of a few in law enforcement that were more crooked then the people they were arresting.
  7. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    No kidding ..

    Just read in this morning's paper about a local guy who was a foster-father for 20-odd years and in that time-frame had fostered 55 boys - mostly "troubled-teens" that no-one else was willing to take care of. A few years ago, he won an award from the province for his "dedication to the care of children" .. yadda, yadda, yadda.

    Well, it turns out that he was arrested for having sex with the boys .. and taking pictures with his cell-phone and ....

    Ahh, screw it, I'll let you read the story yourself ...

    Foster dad facing sex charges | Calgary & Alberta | News | Calgary Sun

  8. 101airborne

    101airborne Well-Known Member

    IMHO In 99% of the cases a background check won't answer the important questions/issues. I know several people that have sterling backgrounds and i wouldn't trust them to walk my dog in a disaster/shtf situation. But I also know a couple of guys that have spent years in prison and have violent PASTS that I would not hesitate to trust with my life. I think a persons caricter ( spelling?) is way more important. Like the old west what a man was is not important, what a man/person IS NOW is what matters. Evryone makes mistakes some worse than others. I have made mistakes that I'm not proud of. Things I wish I could go back and change. But i can't and those that I would want by me in a bad situation don't care about my past, just the fact that I've got their back 110%.
  9. fobhomestead

    fobhomestead Well-Known Member

    Background check???

    It would be like pulling my weapon from my hand... not gonna happen. Someone will end up dead, and if it is me then you can have it. :ignore:

    I do not mean to sound so :mad: about this... really. I firmly believe that information is power and I just will not give my information out to anyone. My motto? In GOD I trust. All others I monitor.


    I will not trust just anyone, and I am not the type of person who expects to be trusted without reason. It just is not natural (at least in my world). I believe in honesty and integrity and I will make my own judgements of each and every person I deal with. I do not want to rely on someone elses judgement, since we all have different ideas of what is acceptable and what is not.

    Background check or not, I will have to meet people and get to know them and really talk to them about their values, beliefs, morals, and ethics. I would want to look them in the eyes... and then make my decisions.

    Information over the internet is NOT secure and I would not thorw anything like that out there, and would highly advise that you not do that either. It just is not safe.

    I do like the idea that NaeKid has of meetings for those of us in the same area. I actually dont mind people knowing the general location of where I am, I just dont want people knowing any more about me than the basics. "Its not paranoia if they really are out to get you!!" :club:
  10. vn6869

    vn6869 Afraid, very afraid

    I have to say the firearm check sounds fanciful - but is totally useless, it only says there is nothing in the criminal data base on the person. Not that they haven't done anything.

    Character is the only thing you can count on. BUT, as said earlier, you never know what will happen in a SHTF situation or any other crisis for that matter.

    The only added measure is training - i.e. maybe simulations with members of the MAG.

    But again, your instincts are your best guide.
  11. fobhomestead

    fobhomestead Well-Known Member


    :eek: I am sorry if I was a bit animated. :booboo: I still will not give you written info on me, but I would make it a point to meet with you and talk to you f2f and show you my credentials. No copies tho. Government "background" checks make me even more paranoid these days- been thru too many. :eek:
  12. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

    exactly, a background only tells you what someone has done, not what they are thinking about doing or what they've done and not got caught doing. I had to have a background ck because of my job, but if anyone wanted to do a back ground ck on me in private life to join any group, they can go pound salt and i wouldn't mind telling them to their face,(military service would be good enough for me) I figure with my supplies and knowledge, they need me, i do not need them. I know within a couple minutes after meeting and talking with anyone if i want to be associated with them and i really don't care what they've done. In fact in a SHTF or an EOTWAWKI situation, I would want them to have a little killer and larceny instincts in them, i certianly wouldn't want to be hold up with a group of gutless wonders.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  13. fobhomestead

    fobhomestead Well-Known Member

    I totally agree with you!! :congrat: I am planning on a very small community (location, location, location) and my family alone has medics, nurses, warriors, clothes makers, gun smiths, etc. Me being the stratigest, I am also an expert shot. :cool:
  14. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    I'm glad NaeKid spelled out 'MAG', I'd never heard the term before.
    We call it being 'Neighbors'...

    I have people that I would take in if there were an emergency,
    Local people I've done business with,
    Friends, people I served in the military with, ect.

    Since my company has government contracts, and I'm retired military,
    I've been vetted through the process more than once.

    The problem with 'Civilian' type background checks is they are so incomplete and inaccurate.
    A simple name change is all that is required to screw them up!
    ("They call me 'Tater Salad'!") 'Nuff Said?

    For me, the gun shop owner down the road would be a good guy, he's stable as a rock, and other than religion, I can't find anything about him that wouldn't recommend him.

    The local doctor and vet are both neighbors and would be welcome,
    Both have been to my house several times, camped out overnight with us, and have views on issues that line up with mine.

    I don't know much of anyone that is 'Lazy' besides myself!
    They would all work in ANY area to earn their keep,
    And most of them are 'Professionals', actually very good in their fields,
    So having the expertise in the group would benefit all concerned.

    I know the local doctor and vet have come in handy before when construction/farm accidents happen, and all I need is a few stitches and don't need an emergency room bill on a weekend because I can't get into see my family doctor!
    Nothing like paying your medical treatment bill with a good steak and a jug of homemade wine!

    The local gun shop owner has opened up after hours, on weekends when he's normally not operating for us to get shells and clays before with absolutely no complaints, and he's always forwarded us 'Gimmies', hats, shirts, jackets, cleaning mats, catalogs, ect. from the manufacturers/retail suppliers.
    When I sell one of my rifles in his store, he only charges me the $15 transfer fee, no percentage of the sale price, and he's NEVER said no to putting any of my extra firearms or hardware like the tree stands I make in the shop in his place.
    I DO give him a cut of the deer/turkey stands/blinds, he IS trying to run a business after all, and turkey blinds take up a BUNCH of floor space!
    He didn't ask, but he's not turned the percentage down either!
    It's only fair, and good counts and good fences make good neighbors!

    He came over and mowed my yard without me asking after my back was broken at work about 5 years ago, and again recently after I had surgery and couldn't do it for a couple of weeks.
    Didn't even have to ask!
    Brought his own lawn mower and everything, didn't ask for a nickel, even for fuel!

    We reciprocated by having them all in for a big 'Feed' and I took my tractor and post hole digger over there when he was building a decorative fence around his place, we put in about 3 days of HARD work for him.
    He's a good guy, and he's a good gun smith with a big heart, easy way and friendly smile.

    That's probably not the kind of 'Background' check you are talking about,
    But that's what matters for me!
    Past history is a pretty good indicator of future acts, and these guys are good as gold in my book!

    Going shooting with a heavy equipment operator and small engine mechanic this afternoon, it is Sunday after all, and I don't want to miss a session at the 'Church Of Exterior Ballistics'!
    Both of these guys have been friends for years, they are VERY good at their jobs, own their equipment, and are VERY self motivated...
    Good candidates in my book!


    'OFFICIAL ORGANIZATION' always makes me leery.
    People loosely self organizing is one thing,
    Formal bodies always leads to power struggles and someone trying to 'Profit' some way in my experience.

    When there is something to be exploited or stolen, it's been my experience that SOMEONE will try to make off with it!

    I would have a check done on ANY 'Group' more than it's members.
    Like the local 'Gun Club' that invited me to some of it's meetings turned out to be a hate spewing, neo-nazi group!
    They wanted 'Dues' so they could afford to expand a hate spewing web site, and pump out printed hate crap!

    I got news for you folks,
    If the 'Big One' ever comes in my lifetime, that is one bunch I WOULD NOT want to be associated with!
    I'm about 2/3 Native American, and when they referred to us as 'Prairie N-word' (Forum won't let me print what they called us)
    I had enough right there... And I was out of there under the excuse 'I was too busy'...

    This wasn't a 'Gun & Rod' sportsman club, 'Sportsman' don't have an 'SS' flag in their meeting hall!
    They have since disbanded, with hard feelings all the way around,
    And if they turn on each other, then what are they going to do to you when the chips are down?

    Some have gone away on dope charges, some on gun charges, some are still around... And I don't have ANYTHING to do with them, they aren't even welcome in my shop if they are holding cash money...

    *IF* the worst happens, I consider all of them 'Targets Of Opportunity', an antiquated military term, but accurate since they are inherently unstable and have demonstrated criminal tendencies.

    On the other hand, the guys from the local 'Conservation Club' and their families are welcome at my place at any time.
    They are all volunteers, unpaid, and generally a great group of hard working guys, so are their families, and I'm proud to know them!
    They provide hunting and firearms training at cost to the locals,
    Work with battered women, abused & 'At Risk' children, have 'Mentor' programs and generally are all the best parts of 'RURAL' living.

    I'd say background checks are a good idea if you have local law enforcement contacts. Knowing anyone that might have access to assets or firearms in your group was 'Clean' would be a good thing, but past actions speak louder than words...
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  15. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    It's nice if one's neighbors constitute one's "MAG" (mutual aid group) but that's not always the case. In some areas and communities it's an assortment of people from around the area who get together and have meetings and make plans or arrangements.

    We're among the fortunate where most of our neighbors are part of a loosely put-together MAG, in that we talk and plan about and for the "What ifs".

    But I have friends in places where their neighbors will be one of their biggest problems or threats, if the SHTF!

    No two people will handle things the same way. But we're all on here to learn things and ask questions so we can formulate the plan or preps that will work for our individual circumstances as well as whatever the world, man or nature, throws our way.
  16. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

    I've been involved in forming several different groups for many reasons, such as a Gun Club... about 10 minutes after the first meeting gets started you can see peoples attitudes changing , it's just nature, some want to lead, so want to herd, some want to follow and there is always one who would be "KING"...

    I have many friends I would be involved in a MAG with and some I wouldn't.. you have the same situation in your lives, and you know who they are, Some people can be fun but maybe he or she is a constant complainer or whiner or have unruly kids, these things will break up a MAG in a heartbeat .

    I'd rather form a loose MAG made up of folks around me who are already there and have their own place, if they were a good neighbor before chances are they will be after the SHTF..

    I attended a first meeting of a group who wanted to form a Militia group, I listened to what was being said and who was saying it, one of the main pushers was a total stranger who was making rather wild comments about how we needed to get up in the hills and get to shooting and we could all bring our "SPECIAL" toys !! Well I spoke up ( of course) and pointed out that I knew several of the people in the room and had seen most of the others someplace in the past but that I didn't know him or the guy who brought the whole thing up.... and I said "While looking at the two main guys" that at anything like what we were talking about there would always be an informer... well we had a few more meetings but it never could get it going, about 6 months later my wife who worked for a major delivery company was in the local ATF office and who should walk out of a back office? all cleaned up...the loud mouth from the meetings!!! it was a sting from the git go ! later I remembered Randy Weaver saying that at a meeting he went to that he asked a member of a group how they knew who the under cover Feds were, the guy laughed and said "Hell he's the one trying to get you to break a law" !! Randy should have listened better...

    My point being, if you don't have a pretty long history with somebody it most likely ain't in your best interest to get into a MAG with them...

    Family, long term friends, that's it... yes it can get lonely out there but you'll sleep better at night knowing you can trust who's on guard.

    One thing I learned in the Marines, the guy behind me and to my sides was there because he volunteered to be there , he wanted to be there and he was trained as I was trained, we were all a part of the "Green Machine" That didn't mean he wasn't scared, hell we all were, but I knew he wouldn't run, he wouldn't leave me laying wounded and he would share his last smoke or can of "C's " with me as I would, the only color that counted was "Marine Green"...

    In civilian life it's called "Family"...

    that's how I see it...

  17. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

    right, and a backgrouind ck on as person connected to the wrong people is going to give you the info that you want to hear, all great except that he's out to shaft you.
  18. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

    My criminal record is a mile long, mowing central park was just the latest stunt. I've been told I was born a Merry Prankster 15 years to late.:D:cool::eek:
  19. texican

    texican Active Member

    If I need to do a background check, or feel that I do, I wouldn't want that person in the first place. Sort of like Groucho Marx's famous saying, I sent the club a wire stating, PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT ME AS A MEMBER.

    I'm going to "know" about the person beforehand, and have known them for a long long time, before they get inside my perimeter of trust. Some of the folks that I do trust, would probably fail most folks guidelines for security... but I know the evil they did was against evil men in the first place.
  20. greaseman

    greaseman Well-Known Member

    sometimes, you just have to rely on a combination of things, but mostly gut feelings. There are times that I might basically trust someone, but just don't like the personality. if I don't like someone on a personal level, I'll probably never trust that person completely. I have learned that gut feelings are a pretty good measure of a person.