Top Navigation  
U.S. Flag waving
Office Hours Momday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm Pacific 1-800-835-2418
Facebook   YouTube   Twitter
 Home Page
 Current Issue
 Article Index
 Author Index
 Previous Issues

 Kindle Subscriptions
 Kindle Publications
 Back Issues
 Discount Books
 All Specials
 Classified Ad

 Web Site Ads
 Magazine Ads

 BHM Forum
 Contact Us/
 Change of Address

Forum / Chat
 Forum/Chat Info
 Lost Password
 Write For BHM

Link to BHM

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.

Massad Ayoob


Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

This recent murder in rural Alaska highlights the fact that the namesake of our operation here, the backwoods home dweller, tends to be on his or her own when violent crime threatens in the far hinterlands:…t-husband.html

Might things have come out better if the homeowner had been armed when he stepped outside? If he’d had a solid piece of cover from which he could have issued a challenge?

Over the past month since the tragic atrocity in Tucson, we’ve discussed here the dangers presented by the violent mentally ill. Gun laws won’t solve it.  More stringent mental health protocols? Well, let’s see…in some totalitarian countries, anyone who disagrees with the government is deemed mentally ill, and sent to a “re-education camp” that’s more like a gulag.  What if the psychiatrist who examines a devoutly religious patient is a militant atheist who interprets prayer as talking to people who aren’t there, and diagnoses the believer as a paranoid schizophrenic who should lose the right to own guns, and perhaps other perks of good citizenship?  What if the psychiatrist who examines the patient is of the opposite bent, and believes that anyone of a belief system other than his is an infidel who must be killed?  Oh, wait, we’ve met him already: Dr.Nidal Malik Hasan, the fanatical Muslim and US Army psychiatrist who perpetrated the mass murder at Food Hood in late 2009.

No wonder society in general, and legislators in particular, won’t touch the idea of locking up dangerous mental patients. Complicated issues abound there.

There’s only one simple answer to stopping murders by the criminally insane, and that’s to be able to stop them one at a time by ourselves. When you’re in the Alaskan bush two hours away from Fire Department response, you damn sure need your own battery operated smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and firefighting knowledge. When you’re in the same place two hours from the nearest law enforcement officer, you need to possess – and have the ability to competently use – the primary rescue tool the officer would bring for an emergency such as this.

That tool, of course, is a defensive firearm.

But for some elements of society, I guess that’s just too simple…


  1. Dann in Ohio Says:

    It always boils down to the simple choice of mindset:

    Do you want and expect to take care of yourself or do you want and expect others to take care of you.

    As a former LEO, many forget that in most situations; police, fire, and ems are not truly first responders… but second responders. The true first responder is typically listed as “victim”.

    How are YOU going to respond when danger or adversity presents itself?

    Dann in Ohio

  2. Pmec Says:

    Yup, Mas… You can slice it, dice it, put it in a blender and puree it, but the bottom line is the best person that can protect you is YOU!

  3. James Says:

    “He’s managed to either threaten or pull guns on just about everybody,”

    I know I’m not the only person who has a problem with that statement. I hope the next crazy guy isn’t allowed to point a gun at more than one person.

  4. Steve Says:

    Great post Mas, except it doesn’t matter if the response time is two hours or two minutes. You may just have two seconds to solve the problem.

  5. Johan Says:

    That is well said Mas. I love how you totally obliterate the anti-self defense arguments with brilliant articulated logic. It’s going to take every one of us law abiding gun owners to “educate” the general public who may not have thought through all the nonsense being spewed out by the anti self defense crowd.
    The anti self defense crowd try to feed off of the emotion of the general public and that is why they immediately start talking about banning magazines and implementing all manner of gun control laws when the emotions are high. They know that when people become rational again they will realize the futility of these laws. Emotion can blind your ability to reason sometimes.

  6. Andy Says:

    Well said, once again.

    When you consider every possible angle of discussion, we probably have thousands of logical, non-emotional, clear, real-world arguments favoring armed self-defense. The anti-gun/anti-self-defense groups can’t come close to that; we know that and I firmly believe THEY also know that (but would never readily admit it). It’s a sad, disgraceful commentary on our community (from a national perspective) that so many people seem to always reflexively defer to the anti’s side.

    Anyway, I’m reminded of a quote I’ve seen a few times on pro-gun forums:

    “You may not like guns and choose not to own one; that is your right. You might not believe in God; that is your choice. However if someone breaks into your home, the first two things you’re going to do are:
    1) Call someone with a gun
    2) Pray they get there in time”

  7. Will Says:

    I like down the road from Trapper’s Creek (just 200 miles which is close by Alaska standards.) We have no police and very little Trooper presence. The Trooper we have is a great guy and is a good testimony to his profession. But he has 100s of miles he is supposed to patrol. He is spread too thin because like lots of places, there isn’t enough money to supply more law enforcement. Even if there were, the job of protecting my family is mine and not the Trooper’s. I do not go about unarmed (AK allows constitutional carry.) If I need to answer the door or feel the need to investigate a noise, I do so armed. I pray I never have to shoot in self defense, but I am prepared to do so. My neighbors have a similar mindset and we have very little crime. Each person takes responsibility for their own safety and also looks out for one another. Its what neighbors do. Still, any discussion of tactics or what these folks could have done can spare their family any pain now. So even while we discuss it to learn something – remember to spare some time for a prayer for the wife and the kids and grandkids that have lost this dear loved one.

  8. Gary Says:

    Ah, I love the fresh blast of cynisicm, Mas. Refreshing!

  9. Tim from CO Says:

    I think this commentary goes along nicely with your other recent posts Mas. My wife and I were talking about the mental health issue and you covered pretty much what we talked about. Especially the potential abuse by government agencies and personal rights/freedoms.

    The above poster, Steve, brought up a very good point as well. Two minutes or two hours, the outcome would have probably been the same. A tragic event like this isn’t limited to the backwoods.

    I’m fortunate enough to have an average police response time of around 5 minutes and I’m heard from friends 20 minutes is really good for them. Point being, even in a few minutes lives can change forever.

    To those who still ignore personal responsibility and rely on 911, what happens if you can’t call them? What if your cell phone has no signal or land-line isn’t working at that moment?

    On a side note, I would like to mention that Colorado is currently considering Constitutional Carry. Our local gun rights group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) has a petition going on.

    More information can be found on the main RMGO page

    I’m not sure if out-of-state signatures count, there is a box for a zipcode so feel free to try it. Maybe if politicians see how much support there is for concealed carry as a whole, they’ll think twice about anti-gun legislation anywhere.

  10. Roger in NC Says:

    Yes Mas, it really is just that simple.
    Great post, as expected.

  11. Mark Laderwarg Says:

    “… When you’re in the same place two hours from the nearest law enforcement officer, you need to possess – and have the ability to competently use – the primary rescue tool the officer would bring for an emergency such as this. …”

    And may I add, “as many rounds in my magazine as I damm well please.”

    Ah, fell better now.

  12. Matt Says:

    It’s NOT just in Alaska etc.!
    Here in my North Carolina county (population 140,000), response time for sheriff’s department outside city limits at night on emergency calls is ONE HOUR!

  13. JP Says:

    As a retired police officer I totally agree with this article. We can try as hard as possible and drive as fast as we can but there is a lot of truth to the old saying “when seconds count, the police are minutes away”. One must take their own personal safety seriously and I even learned that living in a semi rural area needing the help of the sheriffs department a few times, if I did not have my guns I would not be here typing this now. One call to 9-11 went unaswered over 4 hours before I spoke to the first officer because the dispatcher goofed the call up and another took 28 mininutes with 4 home invaders at my door. I would never give up my guns!!!

  14. Bob from Illinois Says:

    It’s a dangerous mindset that has infected our country. You are not primarily responsible for anything in your life. If your house is on fire stand back and wait for the fireman. If your house is being broken into cower until Officer Friendly arrives. Don’t worry about providing for your own health, the guberment will provide.

    The following link is to my one and only blog post on my home site. It tells a story of a woman who is suing McDonalds because her kids demanded she buy them Happy Meals. It was their fault her kids were eating non-nutrious food. Have a read and even a bigger laugh.

    That is why I like this forum so much. Sane, logical people wanting to do for themselves who only put a hand out when offering help to like minded people (or holding their favorite defensive weapon on target).

    Keep on keeping on.

  15. Matt, another Says:

    The article shows admirable restraint on the part of the people living in that community. In quite a few places the perp would of been shot long before the tragedy happened.

    Several years ago, my parents lived in a semi-rural area with LE response from minutes to days, no fire or rescue either for that matter. Them and there neighbors contended with an individual that behaved similar in manner to the man in the article. Tried to intimidate eveyone, stole from properties when no one was home etc. One day someone got tired of it and he was shot while leaving someones property. One shot, to the backside, .22LR. No idea who shot this man.

    When he showed up at the local hospital for treatment he was arrested for failing to report a gunshot wound. Got 30 days. The sherriff used the event as a reason to get a search warrant and found him in possession of stolen goods. Another 60 days. When released he left the area for good. The sherriff had no interest in who shot this man, didn’t even politely inquire.

  16. Mas Fan Says:

    Mas, I plan to retire to a rural area some day, and I fully expect to provide for my own safety and security. I would have wanted the same for Mr.
    Carey. When I make my retirement move, an Ed Brown Executive Carry .45 will be purchased and going with me to be a constant fixture on my hip. As always, thanks for telling the story.

  17. Richard Says:

    I agree with you in state Ca we had Cary Stayner case where he killed mother and daughter her best friend in Yosemite National Park in 1999. All most got way with to untill some one got clues that was him . When I worked Yosemite where told be very careful where went what did in park becuase there where place that where not safe to be at buy your self becuase they had issue mentally ill come Yosemite use park kid nap kill people there becuase it was easy to do so. The head park ranger at time made very clear if got in trouble in Yosemite at time very much on your owen untill some one could help you. Makes one wonder how many people would be save if they had gun defend them selfs from mentally ill when they gone off when there no round help.

  18. Aix Sponsa Says:

    Well said Mas. I carry 24/7. If anyone pulls a gun on me OR says “I’m gonna kill you”, my intention is to double-tap without hesitation. IMO this should have been done early on in the AK scenerio.

  19. Winston Smith Says:

    The thing that surprises me the most about this topic is how divisive it is, yet–somehow–the people who expect somebody else to take care of them live intermingled with the people who just want to take care of themselves. Even in the “liberal” states, they only have a slight majority (like 60/40), and the “conservative” states are about the same (60/40).

    I guess this is what the Free State Project was all about: get conservative/libertarian minded people to move to a single state and effectively saturate its voters at a much higher rate. You know– vote with your feet.

    I also note that the nanny-staters who want to take care of everybody cannot seem to get the concept that many of us are just fine taking care of ourselves, thank you! A libertarian won’t push his ideals on a liberal and demand libertarian laws that force the liberal’s choices, but a liberal sure will mandate nanny-state laws that affect libertarians!

    At some point, this division will probably have to come to a head, won’t it? At some point, it just might make sense for the ones who want socialism to pick the socialist states, and the ones who don’t can pick the few remaining free states.

    (Of course, that’s called secession, and big government, nanny-staters want you to think that’s illegal or unconstitutional, just like your having a firearm to protect yourself and your loved ones from deranged individuals.)

    It really is black and white: freedom or socialism, liberty or nanny-state, small government, or huge government. There is no in between.

  20. Mark Says:

    It really irritates me how so few people actually understand that NO ONE is going to “save you” in an emergency regardless of where it happens and how many “sheeple” happen to be around.

  21. Rob Morse Says:

    Mass, do you see a broken window issue here? Ignoring a small problem lets the problem grow. Look at the pattern.

    Like the shooter in Tuscon, the neighbors say this shooter isn’t quite right. They fail to report the strange behavior because law enforcement can not remove the person from the community. The neighbors claim that reporting the issue without resolving it will simply make the problem worse with the person who has mental health issues.

    Yes, I want us armed. I also want us to address the mentally ill people we live with and stop problems while the problems are small. We are told not to ignore drug abuse on the street, spouse abuse at home, or financial abuses at work. Face the problem and change the system if we need to.

    And stay armed.

  22. Tim/GA Says:

    For the most part, and more every day, we at least are allowed the means to protect ourselves- if we so choose. For a look at what happens after the gov. removes that ability look at Mexico. If any of you get the Blue Press from Dillon, read the article about Don Alejo. The gov. basically disarmed him and his countrymen, leaving those who have guns with “sporting and hunting” guns that are not well suited for defense. Now that the gov cannot (or will not) protect against the drug cartels, the citizens are on their own. He stood his ground and protected his own- made a hell of stand in fact- but lost in the end. Puts a whole new spin on the ATF taking another look at the “sporting use” of shotguns!

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 1998 - Present by Backwoods Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.