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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



‘TIS THE SEASON…

Friday, October 31st, 2014 by Mas | 2 Comments »

I hope you all and your kids and grandkids have a safe and happy Halloween.

But that’s not the season I’m talking about.

I just got my voting done early, and I urge all of you to make your vote count in the mid-term election only a few days away.  Yeah, pundits are talking about a Republican sweep and a Republican-majority  Senate that would be good news for gun owners…but I’m not nearly so sure of that as some.  Neither are some folks over at Breitbart: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/10/29/T-Minus-6-GOP-Fights-to-Escape-Margin-of-Fraud .

Please get out there and vote.  It’s more important than usual this time.

CHICKS RULE, REDUX

Sunday, October 26th, 2014 by Mas | 14 Comments »

I’m a father of daughters and have had the privilege of training multiple female shooting champions, including both of those daughters who each won national titles while still in their teens.  I’ve also spoken in court for some forty female law enforcement officers who were fired for failure to qualify with handguns that weren’t the right size for them (and which they sometimes weren’t trained with correctly), when I was able to confirm that proper training and suitable police weapons that DID fit them allowed them to qualify just fine.  So, it pleases this old testosterone creature when the estrogen tribe kicks butt with guns.

At the NRA annual conference in Indianapolis this year, I got to meet Lena Miculek.  She’s the daughter of two old friends: Jerry Miculek, whom I consider the greatest double action revolver shooter of our time and probably ever, and Kay Clark-Miculek, a national champion shooter in her own right and a kick-ass gunsmith who built the Clark Custom Ruger 10/22 I used to earn a Rifleman patch at my first Appleseed event.

Yeah, there may be a genetics component: if the sire and the dam are both Kentucky Derby winners, you can expect their filly to win races, too.  More to the point, though, both Jerry and Kay have shown themselves for decades to be exemplary as both human beings and shooting athletes, and they passed their dedication to excellence along to their daughter as well as all their knowledge.  She has been stomping mucho boo-tay in three-gun (rifle/shotgun/handgun) competition.  Her father is duly appreciative: see photo.Jerry Miculek Lena Miculek

Closer to home for this writer, estrogen still ruled this week.  Last Saturday, we finished a MAG-40 class in Florida and as usual, staff shot a pace-setter demonstration of the qualification, and then it was the students’ turn.  The instructors toss in $5 apiece, top staffer taking all…students pony up a buck each, winning student taking all…and anybody who beats me gets an autographed $5.  Tie scores on point value over the 60-shot qualification course are broken by group measurement: tightest shot cluster prevails.

Among the students were many instructors and some proven competition shooters, and the staff half a dozen state and regional shooting champions and at least four who have held national titles in handgun shooting competition.  When the proverbial gunsmoke had cleared, there were more than a couple of us who had perfect 300 out of 300 scores.  Mine lost on tie-breaker to that of Lt. Col. Dave “the Blaze” Blazek, USAF retired, who last month won the title of high military shooter at the IDPA National Championships in Tulsa.  Dave usually beats me anyway, but to add insult to injury, he did it this time shooting southpaw even though he’s naturally right-handed…and I’m awfully proud of him.

My Group

However, beating us BOTH and everyone else, was my own significant other, the Evil Princess.  She does that, every now and then – beating everybody on the range, including all the men, and most cruelly, including ME – because, I suspect, she just likes to feel the testosterone drop about ten degrees in male-dominated environments. J

And nobody’s  prouder of that than me.  Chicks rule!

BLOWING A SHOT

Friday, October 24th, 2014 by Mas | 13 Comments »

A few weeks ago in Arkansas, I was teaching a 40-hour class for armed citizens and off duty cops. The course finishes with a tough written exam on deadly force law and tactics, and a 60-shot live fire qualification encompassing dominant hand only, non-dominant hand only, speed reloads, shooting from cover positions, and cetera.  Before the students shoot, the staff runs a “pace-setter”: we shoot the timed course of fire while they watch, so they can get a good mental image of what the stances and techniques they’re expected to perform look like, and how fast they’ll have to do it to score well.  Given that there are fixed time limits, this also lets the observers kinda “set their internal clock.”  Part of the incentive is, whatever score I shoot, if the student ties me they get an autographed dollar bill inscribed, “You tied me at my own game,” and if they outshoot me, they earn an autographed five-dollar bill that says, “You beat me at my own game.”

Nothing makes me prouder of my students than giving them one of those dollar bills. I confess, however, to mixed feelings about having to pay out a fiver.  On the one hand, as I tell them beforehand, there’s no greater compliment a student can pay an instructor than to outperform the teacher in the skill being taught.  On the other hand, there’s the personal excoriation of “Oh, crap, I blew it!”

I normally shoot it with a perfect 300 out of 300 points score, as I damn well should, having run this course for decades.  But – less than half an hour after telling them to stay at a “conscious competence” level and think about every shot as they’re squeezing it off, I violated my own rule and let myself slip into the “unconscious competence” mode sometimes called “automatic pilot.”  The sight alignment was hard and solid from the fifteen yard line, but my stance wasn’t quite perfect for natural point of aim apparently, and about the time that I saw the well-aligned sights had drifted to the right and realized that I was automatically pressing the trigger, there was a very brief instant when I thought, “The sights need to come more left but my finger is pressing the trigger and”  — BANG!

The sights told me the story before I saw the bullet hole: I had broken the shot prematurely with the gun aligned to 3 o’clock of where I needed the shot to go, and that was exactly where the 230 grain Winchester .45 ACP hardball bullet hit…just outside the maximum 5-point zone and into the four-point zone.  I did what I should have done beforehand, and turned off the auto pilot and went back to conscious competence – thinking about what I was doing.  The rest of the shots went center, but I finished with a 299 out of 300…and yes, that cost me more than one five-dollar bill.

ANTI-GUNNER ADMITS HE SCREWED UP

Sunday, October 19th, 2014 by Mas | 15 Comments »

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School atrocity of December 2012, anti-gun politicians fell over themselves ramrodding poorly crafted legislation into law, in the vain hope that Kool-Aid flavored Band-Aids would somehow cure a societal cancer.  Second only to Governor Cuomo in New York in this respect, was Governor Hickenlooper in Colorado.

When was the last time you saw the majority of sheriffs in their state sue their own Governor over poorly crafted, unenforceable law?  Well, the Colorado fiasco comes most readily to mind. Having had some small part in that litigation, as an expert witness retained to speak for the sheriffs’ side of the case, I have no argument at all with the following cogent analysis by Larry Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.  Thanks to Jim Shepherd at The Shooting Wire for sending it along: http://www.nssfblog.com/colorado-governor-hickenloopers-greatest-hits/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NSSFGR+%28NSSF+Government+Relations%29 .

LISTEN TO GRPC 2014

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by Mas | 10 Comments »

In recent blog entries here, I touched on the two days of the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago last month.

It’s official: you can now listen to the entire presentation yourself, with audio links here courtesy of the Second Amendment Foundation: http://www.saf.org/?page_id=4402 .

There’s LOTS of good stuff here.  I was proud to have had a small part of it, on the Gun-Free Zones panel.  As usual at GRPCs, I gained far more knowledge than I dispensed.

Next year’s GRPC will be in Phoenix, Arizona the last full weekend of September 2015. Being someplace where you can carry while attending makes it … better.

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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