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Massad Ayoob on Guns

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Archive for November, 2011

Massad Ayoob


Monday, November 28th, 2011

Six years ago, the National Retail Confederation created Cyber Monday.  Lots of businesses – and lots of buyers – have gotten aboard with the concept since.  On this first Monday after Thanksgiving, my email is flooded with Cyber Monday specials.

I’ve found myself doing more gift-buying (and shipping) over the Internet.  As a little kid, I loved the rituals of going Christmas shopping with my mom.  I have fond memories of watching the snowflakes fall past the glowing Christmas decorations that seemed to hang from every lamppost in the city.  The warmth of knowing I had picked exactly the right gift for each recipient.

But then, there WAS the hassle of lugging it all home.  And wrapping it.  (Good Lord, I NEVER got good at that!)  And standing in the long, long lines at the Post Office, with the awkward pile of packages to be shipped.

Practicality does get in the way of nostalgia, doesn’t it?

In the next few days, I’m afraid a good deal of my gift-buying is going to be online, probably more to spare myself the hassle of gift-SHIPPING than for any other reason.

Cyber Monday and the changing paradigm of Christmas gifting – what’s YOUR take on it?

Massad Ayoob


Thursday, November 24th, 2011

It’s good to know from responses posted by some of you to my last entry here that many are planning some trigger time on the Holiday.

I didn’t shoot my own turkey (would have scared heck out of everyone in the frozen foods section) but am looking forward to some range time with good friends after the Thanksgiving feast.

On the gun owners’ civil rights front, there is much to be thankful for, including the passage of HR 822 through the House, which would create nationwide reciprocity for concealed carry permits. (Write your Senators, hint hint…)

Enjoy your Thanksgiving and whatever sport or leisure you choose for the day.  From everyone at this end, to all of you and yours, a happy and fulfilling Thanksgiving weekend!

Massad Ayoob


Monday, November 21st, 2011

I’ll be having a quiet Thanksgiving at home base this year. Last week in Phoenix, I chatted with a lady whose family celebrated the holiday early so they could go elk hunting on the 24th.

How many of y’all will be feasting on turkey from the woods instead of from the market this year?  How many will have some other game meat on the table when giving thanks?

When I was a little kid in the 1950s, the traditional Thanksgiving images at school and everywhere else included a blunderbuss in the Pilgrims’ hands.  After all, that muzzle-loading smoothbore – whether or not it had the belled muzzle we associate with that iconic Thanksgiving image – was where the turkey came from.  The image of the gun seems conspicuously gone from today’s Thanksgiving imagery.

Not politically correct, I guess.

In some parts of our country, many will be out hunting for their Thanksgiving Day sport fix instead of sitting around watching football on TV.  I hope that will include some of those here.  I don’t see hunting on my own Thanksgiving Day schedule, but I’m sure there’ll be some time on the backyard range.

How ‘bout you folks?

Massad Ayoob


Monday, November 14th, 2011

So…I just finished teaching a class with a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver as my teaching gun…and out of 21 students, only one was using a revolver instead of a semiautomatic pistol. He was 78 years old.  This told me something.

That said, though, he finished with a score of 220 out of 250 possible with his snub-nose Ruger SP101, and there was at least one instructor on the line with the same kind of gun to show him how to work it, since the “least modern gun” on the hips of my staff instructor cadre was a 1911 .45 auto, and all the rest had Glocks, S&W M&P autos, or the Springfield XD. Today, I start an advanced class, and have seen the writing on the wall: I’ve switched to a polymer Glock 26 9mm autoloader as my teaching gun for this week.

About ten days ago I was in Phoenix, competing in the South Mountain Showdown, and using the S&W in Stock Service Revolver class. Significant Other and I found ourselves shooting one stage with some other revolver fans. “Cool,” I said, “we’re in a nest of revolver shooters.”

“Or maybe a gaggle of revolver shooters,” she suggested helpfully.

“A cylinder-full of revolver shooters?” I ventured hopefully.

“Or a speedloader of revolver shooters,” she said supportively.

Now, I know the proper term.

We were obviously a “museum” of revolver shooters.

Help me out here…I’m not the LAST dinosaur, am I?

It’s hunting season, for Heaven’s sake. How many of you are going to be hunting birds with a good old classic double barrel shotgun, and how many are going after the Thanksgiving turkeys with a shotgun made of Fiberglas and synthetic stocks with Sorbothane recoil pads?  How many will be stalking the winter venison with good ol’ bolt action or lever action rifles made out of blue steel and walnut, and how many will be using something that’s plastique fantastique and tactique-al?

Like that guy said to Clint Eastwood in the first “Dirty Harry” movie… “I got to know.”


Massad Ayoob


Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

A pleasant senior citizen couple living out the remainder of their golden years in a quiet, bucolic place.

A madman.

Bad combination. See the link below, sent to me this morning by a nationally respected police chief.

I am reminded of the two teen thrill killers who conned their way into the home of a beloved couple in Hanover, New Hampshire some years ago. Google “Zantop Murders.” The little fiends butchered that good man and woman like Jack the Ripper.

Not long before the atrocity, the same pair had surrounded a home in nearby Vermont, cut the power lines, and attempted the same thing. This time, though, they were met by a dad who protected his kids with a Glock drawn from his ever-present holster, and fled like the cowards they were.

There is, I submit, a lesson in this.

It’s why I carry a handgun at all times when on my own rural property. When a sudden, unprovoked attack comes, there won’t be time to run to the gun safe.

Condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. May others learn from their sacrifice, that it may not be repeated.

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