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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.


Friday, May 29th, 2015 by Mas | No Comments »

My “Ayoob Files” continuing series in American Handgunner magazine covers in the current issue the legendary 1884 siege in which Elfego Baca holed up with a pair of revolvers and held off a vengeful gang of cowboys who pumped some 4,000 bullets into the shack where he had taken refuge.  Unlikely as it sounds, history shows that’s pretty much how the thing went down.

In researching the shootout, I followed up on Baca’s later life, which included time as an elected county sheriff, and as an attorney.  (And a few more gunfights.)  It turns out that Baca was an innovative fellow.

In one case, as sheriff he was conducting a murder investigation.  Fresh human feces were found near the death scene.  He instructed a deputy to collect it and put it in a tin can.  Before long, he came upon a likely suspect, who became so nervous during Baca’s interrogation that he felt a sudden urge to relieve himself.  Baca allowed him to do so, and then once again ordered a deputy to “can it,” so to speak.

An unusual pattern of chili seeds was present in both fecal samples.  There was no DNA testing in those days, of course, but by the standards of the time, Baca’s thinking was positively Sherlockian.  Today, it would be seen as crappy evidence in more ways than one and might not meet the standard of a “reasonable degree of scientific certainty,” but back then it was enough to convict the suspect of murder.

Forgive a crude reference from common parlance, but one could say that Sheriff Elfego Baca was certainly a lawman who knew his shit.


Monday, May 25th, 2015 by Mas | 9 Comments »

On this somber day of observance, our friends at Galco remind us of a quote from General George S. Patton: “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men that died. Rather that we should thank God that such men lived.”

And my colleagues at Second Amendment Foundation remind us of the seminal moment “the Revolutionary War was ignited by the battles of Lexington and Concord, when British troops under General Thomas Gage were dispatched to seize arms and ammunition belonging to the colonial militia, and destroy it.”

Exercising the rights our forebears died to preserve seems an appropriate way to celebrate Memorial Day.  Before the day is over I’ll join a “shooting party” at the range of Herman Gunter, III.  I hope you, too, can get some meaningful time in to honor those who died to preserve the American way of life.


Thursday, May 21st, 2015 by Mas | 21 Comments »

Heading home from a class near Austin, Texas the Evil Princess and I got hungry not too far east of Houston.  Gator01We wound up at Gator Junction Bar-B-Q , at the Turtle Bayou Turnaround (love that address!) off Interstate 10 in Wallisville.

It’s a little bitty restaurant…it’s a store…and it’s a trip back in a time machine.  She and I love those mid-20th century eateries.  We sat on wood as stuffed critters looked down on us from the walls.  We meandered among the antique decorations.  And we enjoyed scrumptious brisket.

Gator03During the meal, she caught up with her iStuff, and I perused a 1950 edition of LIFE magazine that I’d bought at an antique shop in Giddings.  It seemed right, somehow…

How about y’all?  Got any particular favorite stops on America’s roads that make you feel as if you’ve gone back in a time machine?Gator02


Sunday, May 17th, 2015 by Mas | 38 Comments »

Recently, George Zimmerman very nearly becomes a murder victim…again.  The usual suspects blame him.  However, the investigation indicates he is indeed a victim, and the guy who took a shot at him is the one arrested and charged.


And over at the always insightful Gun Free Zone, our friend Miguel Gonzales shines a spotlight on the reaction of anti-gunners.  Clearly, gun-banning is not exactly the Belief System of Peace.


At this and that discussion forum, we keep hearing that Zimmerman has become a “shit magnet.”


If so, it’s because a clueless, sensationalist media has so magnetized him.


Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 by Mas | 30 Comments »

Not counting travel time, I spent last Wednesday through Friday in New York State, including hanging around an extra day in case surrebuttal testimony was needed (it wasn’t) to speak as an expert witness for a woman who was denied that explanation of critical elements in her first trial. On August 11, 2011 she had the temerity to show disrespect to the outlaw biker club her husband wanted to join, and he apparently felt duty bound to punish her. He held a knife to her throat and snarled, “I’ll kill you, you f*cking c*nt.”

She decided she wanted to live for her 12 year old daughter. She fought back. She gained control of the knife, and soon he was on the floor in the proverbial puddle of blood. She called 9-1-1 and requested an ambulance for both of them, because she had been hurt, too.

If you’ve attended one of my classes, you’ve heard me explain the “false positive.” Most of the time when the cops get to a stabbing scene, we find the victim in that puddle of blood, and the perpetrator holding the blood-dripping knife. We learn to associate. Of course, in true self-defense, you have to hurt the bad guy enough to make him incapable of hurting you anymore. He is now lying in that puddle, doing a very convincing imitation of a victim, and you, the initial victim now holding the weapon, are doing a very convincing imitation of a perpetrator. It’s very easy for The System to go with the stereotype and take it from there.

In her first trial for attempted murder, the judge did not allow expert testimony on certain critical topics, and she was convicted and sentenced to 16 years. The appellate court didn’t think she got a fair trial (I didn’t think so, either), and her second trial began on April 29 of this year. It ended yesterday with a total acquittal on all counts. Story here.

HUGE congratulations to the Saratoga County Public Defender’s Office and particularly assigned defense counsel Andrew Blumenberg. I know how much sleep Drew lost over this case. His dedication and unswerving, evidence-based belief in his client’s innocence are a credit to the office he serves. And thanks, of course, to a jury that finally got enough of the facts to apply their collective life experience and common sense to deliver true Justice.



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