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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.


Monday, July 25th, 2016 by Mas | 9 Comments »

All over the world, terroristic mass murder seems to be ramping up.  Here’s one of the latest, done in Japan…with edged weaponry, as seen here.

We were warned. The WORLD was warned.  Virtually every intelligence agency and law enforcement agency has seen it coming, and frankly, most expected it sooner.  We have long since warned about it at Backwoods Home, most recently here, in the current issue.


Thursday, July 21st, 2016 by Mas | 22 Comments »

Our friend Dave Workman, now blogging from a new source, compares the Republican and Democrat platforms on guns.

One is reminded of the quote attributed to Ronald Reagan: “I didn’t leave the Democratic party, the Democratic party left me.


Sunday, July 17th, 2016 by Mas | 14 Comments »

In the 7/13/16 edition of the Alaska Dispatch News, the Sports & Outdoor section had a column by Alli Harvey titled “Outdoors serves as an elixir to stressful news.”  Amen to that!

In Alaska to teach, the Evil Princess and I spent Tuesday with friends on Prince William Sound doing a glacier tour.  The majesty of The Last Frontier is breath-taking in the depths of winter, as I learned my first three frozen-butt times in the 49th state, but last year and this I’ve learned to love it in the summer.  I’m looking forward to very pleasant days on the range.

It gets your mind off a strong sense that there are people who would like to see a race war in this country, and seem to be doing their damndest to ignite it.  It gets your mind off the DOJ saying Hillary Clinton is not culpable because she didn’t have the necessary intent (known as mens rea, which translates to “the guilty mind”) because while she was extremely careless she did not have intent to commit a crime.  This sticks in the throat of those of us who were taught by the criminal justice system that mens rea can be created by specific intent or by culpable negligence, of which “extreme carelessness” is a classic example. My favorite Chicago columnist, John Kass, makes some good points here.

In hopes of getting your mind off the news too, let me share some soothing sights:


Whittier, Alaska


Bald Eagle


Blackstone Glacier




Baskin’ Alaskan


Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 by Mas | 98 Comments »

Regular readers will understand why I’ve waited until now to talk about the recent police-involved shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota, the resultant cop-killing atrocity in Dallas, and the other deadly ripples we’re seeing spread from it all.  That’s because regular readers know one tenet here is to wait until information is in from both sides before we judge and condemn.

Our President, whom we are told once taught Constitutional Law, implied to the nation and the world that the two officer-involved shootings were bad acts, yet as details slowly emerge we find that in both cases the cops apparently shot armed men who appeared to be reaching for guns…men who, the cops had reason to believe even before each contact was made, might well be armed and dangerous.

We are seeing marchers turning violent. We are seeing them block highways, not just keeping decent working people from getting to work and home from work, but potentially blocking ambulances from saving innocent lives.  All so those marchers can “make a point” and feel good about themselves for doing something they think is positive.

At the Denver airport today, I read in the Denver Post of a 14-year-old black youth who said he would run if he saw police, for fear they would murder him, because he had been led to believe that cops were epidemically murdering innocent black people for no reason.  When you run from police, you arouse their suspicion and, in the Supreme Court’s guiding Illinois v. Wardlow decision, give them Reasonable Articulable Suspicion that warrants their pursuit of the fleeing person. Things have now escalated. Being chased by the police will seem to confirm the false fear that police want to kill that young boy, and if he panics and does something stupid and things get violent…the cycle of tragedy will continue.  Whoever told that kid to react that way should be ashamed.

For decades, I’ve spoken against the old paradigm of law enforcement that says, “We don’t discuss our cases in the press, it will all come out in court.”  It’s a paradigm born in the responsibility of the officers to remember that those we arrest are innocent until proven guilty, and we can’t defame them and bring heartbreak to their loved ones until they have been adjudicated in a court of law.  But when it is the police who are the accused, their silence and reticence to tell their side of what happened is seen by the public as a plea of no contest and, sadly, as an admission of guilt.  Within 24 hours of a shooting like the ones in Louisiana and Minnesota, the investigators generally have a damn good idea of what happened.  If the police had “gotten ahead of the meme” by publicly stating what the investigation showed thus far had actually occurred, might these ripples of tragedy have been prevented?

There is still much to be revealed.  “The truth is out there” … but not “out there” to the public and in the media.  Much of the “breaking news” that people acted upon was “broken news.” And, I fear, those ripples of violence have not yet settled in the troubled waters in which our nation is now swimming.

Your discussion here is welcome.


Saturday, July 9th, 2016 by Mas | 10 Comments »

Last March, we mentioned here that my old friend Walt Rauch Walt Rauchhad suffered a stroke. Thanks to the many of you who passed along best wishes and prayers to Walt and his family.

I’ve learned that this past Thursday night, Walt passed away peacefully in his sleep. Our mutual friend Michael Bane mourns for him here.

As noted in the above links, Walt was the author of two valuable books. His years on the Philadelphia Warrant Squad, and with Secret Service before that, had given him a strong handle on survival tactics.  Involved early on in IPSC (the International Practical Shooting Confederation) whose American arm is USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association, Walt was also a co-founder of the National Tactical Invitational a quarter of a century ago, along with Hershel Davis and Skip Gochenauer. Twenty years ago, Walt was one of the prime movers in the founding of IDPA, the (International Defensive Pistol Association).

Walt Rauch, Jim Cirillo, Massad Ayoob

Walt Rauch, Jim Cirillo and Mas Ayoob

Walt and I had been friends for about 35 years. We met at the Bianchi Cup. Walt was one of the gurus, and though he sometimes came across as a curmudgeon, he was always happy to give advice to cops or armed citizens who asked. About 30 years ago when Ray Chapman and I were going around the country doing Advanced Officer Survival seminars for the Police Marksman Association, we invited Walt to be a guest speaker at the one sponsored by the Philadelphia Police Department.  His advice on subtleties of real world tactics captivated our audience of streetwise coppers from in and around Philly.

It has been a bad year for losing some of our finest gun experts.  Deepest condolences to Walt’s family and many friends.  We have all lost a tremendous resource.



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