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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.

Massad Ayoob


Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Those of us who write about guns generally stay on top of what others in the field are doing, and appreciate the best in that field. Of late, we’ve lost three of those best. I was deeply saddened this year by the death of Dan Shideler. He was my editor on my most recent book, Massad Ayoob’s Greatest Handguns. He was a joy to work with and I had been looking forward to working with him on the next couple. It was not to be; a heart ailment took him from us at a tragically young age. Dan had an encyclopedic knowledge of firearms, particularly some of the most arcane and fascinating designs, and was a font of knowledge for his colleagues as well as his readers.

We recently lost Steve Camp of Texas, one of the nation’s leading experts on the Browning Hi-Power pistol. Working the electronic side of firearms journalism rather than the print side, his website had been an authoritative resource on guns and ammunition. I had corresponded with him and was looking forward to meeting him in person when next in the Lone Star State, but it was not to be. Described as a gentleman by all who knew him, Steve had recently retired from a career as a role-model police officer, and was not yet 60 when he suffered a fatal stroke.

This past weekend, they were joined by Charlie Cutshaw. Charlie and I wrote for many of the same magazines, and it was always a pleasure to chat with him. A Vietnam veteran and a proud law enforcement officer, he was one of the most knowledgeable sources of information on small arms, particularly those designed for military and police use. A fall at home, resulting in brain trauma, took him from us. A Google search will get you to samples of their work, if you aren’t familiar with it already. All of them worked hard to inculcate safe, responsible use of firearms. All of them “left the range” far too soon. May their legacy continue, may their loved ones be consoled, and may they rest in peace.

12 Responses to “MORE PASSAGES”

  1. Tim from CO Says:

    I’m saddened whenever our side loses someone good like them. It’ll be hard to fill those voids.

    Being a young’un in the gun world, it means I get to enjoy the Golden Age of it. But at the same time it makes it far too easy to take the hard earned knowledge that’s been accumulated over the past 60 something years for granted. The knowledge these gentlemen undoubtedly contributed to.

    Shooters never leave the range, they just go home to reload.

    Rest In Peace.

  2. Erich Martell Says:

    A lot of losses of late. 🙁 May they rest in peace, and God bless their families.

  3. Steve Says:

    As we get older, the old timers go and we become the old timers (gulp).

  4. Jack Zeller Says:

    Charlie was a fine gentleman, and he gave me great info on firearms over the years…we had an ongoing “chat” about the .45 vs. the 10mm – guess which one Charlie preferred?…in any case, his passing leaves a large void. We will miss, and remember him, brother in arms…Jack

  5. Dave Says:

    I’m very sorry to hear this. Charlie Cutshaw was a friend of my brother. I was fortunate enough to meet him several years ago at a gun range where he was testing a couple of Armalite rifles, which he graciously allowed me to shoot. He was one of my favorite gun writers & undoubtedly one of the best. I did not know Dan or Steve, but the passing of all three of these gentlemen is a huge loss to us all. They will be missed.

  6. Pete Sheppard Says:

    I have to second Mas’ comments on Stephen Camp. I never met him either, but learned much from his website and posts. His courtesy and patience in his posts was exemplary. He will be missed (as will Charlie and Dan–I just was not as familiar with them).

  7. Mike Says:


    I didn’t know your editor, but I definitely knew of Stephen and Charlie. I was fortunate to meet the former online; he was always a gentleman in our correspondence and very helpful. Charlie’s gun reviews were entertaining and informative.

    Learning how these great men died reminds me of something you may have written awhile back: statistically speaking, health problems or household and workplace accidents are much likely to take us from this earth than a violent confrontation.

    This post reminds me we should all spend as much or more time taking care of ourselves and practicing safe ways to work and play as we do shooting and training.

    RIP, kind sirs!


  8. Mike Says:


    I just noticed Stephen suffered from a brain aneurysm, the same condition that killed my mother in ’98. As I learned back then, all the workouts and diets in the world won’t help a hill of beans with something like that!


  9. Ken Tapp Says:

    Mas, take care of yourself that you stay with us and keep us up to date.
    For me getting old is not too bad thus far, subject to change however.
    Stay cool,
    Ken tapp

  10. Ernie Dunn Says:

    Is this the Ken Tapp from Winchester,Ky ? If it is I have wondered where you were and how you were doing. Hope your health is holding up. Would like to hear from you when you have the time.

  11. Laryn Tapp Martin Says:

    Ernie Dunn: Yep! Ken Tapp from Winchester, KY….my uncle! I talked to him a couple of weeks ago. He’s doing well and still shooting (not professionally though!). We’ve been exchanging emails this week…he’s helping me with my problem with shooting…right handed but left eye dominant! I love his ideas that he sends to me! I will let him know that you inquired about him! Hope you are doing well also.

    Laryn Tapp Martin

  12. Lane Crawley Says:

    Mr Tapp,
    I too have been wondering how you have been doing. I watched you shoot years ago and wished I could have spent time learning from you.
    Lane Crawley,
    Georgetown, Ky

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