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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

WHY WE CARRY GUNS

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.

http://www.king5.com/news/Elderly-Humptulips-man-was-shot-with-crossbow-wife-attacked-with-axe-133395258.html

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.

27 Responses to “WHY WE CARRY GUNS”

  1. Rob R. Says:

    I have been asked by visitors to my rural home why I have a gun on me when I’m home. I always ask them, if someone comes in here, am I going to have time to run to my bedroom, grab the shotgun, remove the trigger lock, and only then protect myself? At night I keep my Glock on the table next to the bed under a couple papers. No one can see it, but I have practiced and can access it rapidly.

    Some think I am paranoid. I am. I have reason to be. No, I’m not a conspiracy junkie or kook. I just live in the real world and want to continue doing so.

  2. Z Says:

    The story doesn’t give all the details, but I dunno if the husband would have stood a chance whether he was armed or not. If someone gets the drop on you with a crossbow and takes a good shot, that’s probably it. People take deer and even boar with crossbows. He might’ve wounded or downed his killer before succumbing to his wound though.

    The wife probably would have fared far better were she armed.

    And not to sound crazy, but…this time of year is good for wearing concealable level II or IIIA soft armor. It’s actually a comfortable and practical alternative or addition to other winter wear at around 65 degrees for level II, lower for level IIIA. Probably still wouldn’t have helped vs. a crossbow bolt though.

  3. Jim Says:

    I used to keep a guy by me or on me even in my city home. Maybe I should go back to doing that.

  4. pax Says:

    It’s not the odds. It’s the stakes.

  5. Chris - VA Says:

    I keep a handgun right near me at my home work station. When I walk the dog at night I carry. Got a 12 gauge near the bed at night. Tell people to watch the news…

  6. HaroldB Says:

    I live a little south of that couple here in WA state. I have a Sig on me as I type this and the 12 ga is upstairs next to the bed. Being “aware” all the time is paramount. Our house has proximity alarms (battery operated) on all sides, so no one approaches that we don’t “hear” coming.
    You do what you can, and hope for the best. Stay safe ya’ll.

  7. Fred Bartlett Says:

    In cases like the linked article, it is most fascinating to read the comments from the local paper. This is especially true in a liberal area like metro-Seattle. It is easy to see how criminals such as this killer get both sympathy and how they get out of prison early.

    The only solution (as most readers of this column can agree) is protect oneself with situational awareness and proper weapons. If someone got the drop on me with a crossbow, it would already be too late.

  8. Matt, another Says:

    I refer to my youngest daughter, 21, as the Self Rescuing Princess. Upon turning 21, instead of going out to party she purchased her first handgun. It is now on her person, or very near her person at all times. Once her daughter is born in Jan, she will be looking for better training than I can provide.

  9. Buzz Says:

    My proximity alarm is a 100lb. black Lab, and I carry on my property ALL the time. I live in a rural area in Southern Oregon and we get more than our share of strange transients. Some think I’m a wee bit wacko, but I’d rather be a live wacko than…………….

  10. BarryC Says:

    Off topic but check out this article:
    http://travel.usatoday.com/destinations/dispatches/post/2011/11/luxury-gun-lounge-to-open-in-las-vegas/562751/1?csp=Travel
    And this video. I now have a reason to go to Las Vegas!
    http://machinegunsvegas.com/

  11. Ralph Says:

    Mas,

    I am a family man with five small children. I too live in a rural area. We are in the border region and it is not uncommon to see illegal aliens walking along the river behind our home (although I think by and large the illegals are less dangerous than some of our fellow Americans.)

    We have shot guns, small rifles and some handguns in the home (for sporting reasons), but they are unloaded and the ammo is kept secured in another area.

    I have often thought of carrying a firearm while at home. In fact, a few years ago I went and earned my CCW. (Although in my state, AZ, this is no longer required) However, as of yet, I have not developed the habit of carrying all the time open or concealed.

    The reason for this is that I am always worried about my young children getting to the guns. What is the greater risk – the kids getting into the firearms or the family getting attacked by someone intent on harming them? It something that weighs on my mind.

    My question is, how do you feel about this? What did you do when your children were young? I understand that your daughters are accomplished markswomen now, but how did you handle it when they were toddlers?

    Stories like the one you wrote about make me agonize over if I am making the correct decision for our family. It only takes one bad guy or one accident to end the life of a child.

    Thanks in advance for the advice.

  12. john of sparta Says:

    *In Cold Blood* was the first
    in a trend of reportage
    about spree killers.

  13. Tim from CO Says:

    Any time I step outside I’m armed. At home, I keep at least one gun within reach (if I move rooms, the gun follows). I debate about carrying at home but biggest reason why I don’t is clothing and to give my back a rest.

    How about the rest of you?

    Both murders go beyond atrocious but for me the Zantop murders are more disturbing simply because of the age and their planning… more reason not to open the door for strangers.

  14. Dave -- VA Says:

    I began wearing a handgun around the house several years ago when I got my concealed carry permit so that I would get used to the feel of the gun on my person & not inadvertently draw attention to it by adjusting it in public. I like the feel of having it on so much now that I feel uncomfortable without it.

    Before long, it occurred to me that it makes just as much sense to wear a handgun while at home as it does when you are out & about for the very reason that Mas expressed above. For that reason, I always have a handgun with me (except where totally prohibited by law, such as in airports), even when I’m mowing the lawn in hot, humid weather. (Don’t laugh…two years ago, to my astonishment, I was attacked by a rabid cat in my back yard.)

    Anyone who has ever been in a sudden emergency situation, such as a fire, a car accident, a medical emergency, or an attack on oneself, knows how quickly things can go from bad to worse. In many cases you only have a few seconds, at most, to make the decisions necessary to survive. In the case of a home invasion or an armed attack against you, it may not even be that long.

    Compounding the problem is that in every sudden emergency that I’ve experienced, it takes a little while to recognize what’s happening & a little more time to get over the shock that it’s really happening to me! That being the case, having to go retrieve a firearm for your defense while under attack could easily put you at a severe disadvantage. It’s also why it’s absolutely necessary to train for emergency situations, because if you don’t already have a plan which you can implement immediately, you won’t have time to form one.

    Needless to say, everyone I know thinks that wearing a gun at home is a bit extreme, including my brothers, who also have concealed carry permits. I used to have a girlfriend who, although professing to be okay with guns, objected to me wearing one around the house, even when it was concealed. That’s when I realized that I liked being constantly armed a lot more than I liked being told what I may & may not do in my own house. As a result, I now choose to live alone, which is even more reason to carry a handgun at home.

    Another good reason to wear a gun while on your own property is that in many areas there are laws prohibiting gun owners from leaving firearms in places where children can gain access to them. For many parents with underage children living at home, having loaded weapons strategically located around the house (even if locked up) is not an option, no matter how responsible those children may be. The same could be true of grandparents whose grandchildren visit from time to time. However, having a loaded weapon on your person & completely under your control at all times may be a way around that problem, especially if it’s concealed.

    Finally, I want to say something about bedside guns. Like many of you, I keep one within easy reach when I’m in bed. In recent years, I have become a big fan of lasergrips. One of the reasons for this is that I’m nearsighted & I discovered that it’s actually easier for me to see a laser dot on a target without my glasses than it is with my glasses, regardless of what the target is made of, including all types of clothing. The dot actually looks larger without my glasses! So if someone were to kick down my bedroom door before I had time to put my glasses on, I could easily put shots on target at room-length distances using the laser, even in total darkness from an unconventional shooting position. I have tritium night sights on all my handguns, too, but the laser makes things a lot easier & the gun does not have to be held at eye level. Furthermore, the laser would be just as helpful if my glasses were to get knocked off in a scuffle during an attack somewhere else. It’s something to consider given the vagaries that may be involved in a self-defense situation.

  15. Mike Sweeney Says:

    As I type this sitting in my Lazyboy in my house in rural Michigan I’ve got my S&W 642 CT, loaded with 138 grain +P hollowpoints, in a Crossbreed Supertuck on my strong side hip, a Bianchi Speed Strip in my jeans coin pocket and a SOG Flash II in my weak side hip pocket. I’ve gotten to the point where I feel a little uncomfortable when I am unarmed.

    I have motion activated lights all around the outside of the house and a Golden Retreiver at my feet. As I told my neighbor, I don’t need to have the safest house in the world. I’ll settle for the being the hardest target on the block. Am I frightened? No. Just prepared. If you want peace, prepare for war.

  16. Mas Says:

    Ralph, by keeping the gun on your person during all waking hours, it’s simultaneously secure from unauthorized little hands, and instantly available to you. When you’re ready for sleep, a quick-release lockbox by the bed is adquately accessible, and again secure from curious kids.

    best,
    Mas

  17. Tom from WNY Says:

    Now I don’t expect agreement; but one of the smartest handgun purchases I ever made was my Kel – Tec P32. Yes I know about mouseguns; but remember the 1st rule of gunfighting. This one rides in my off hand pocket with a spare mag in the strong hand one; both with Winchester Silvertips. Its there during my waking hours and when I’m out and about. If I even think there may be trouble; there are full size .45 ACP’s, 10mm’s, 9mm’s and. 357’s for duty. One usually resides in my nightstand with a cell phone and Surefire close at hand.

    Where I live in semi – rural WNY, it is not unusual to dial 911 and expect a 20 minute response time from either Sheriff or NYSP. That’s for a critical incident. After much thought; I decided to be accountable for my safety and security, I can’t suborn it to others. Just a fact of rural life; a sentiment verified by most all law enforcement professionals I deal with as the Risk Management professional for their insurance carrier. Be aware, be prepared, be skilled.

  18. Hanza Says:

    I first got my Oregon CCW permit about 20 years ago when they became ‘shall’ issue.

    For years I carried away from home every where it was legal to do so. Then a few years ago I slacked off and stopped carrying altogether.

    Not once during those 20 years did I have a firearm on me when home.

    However that has now changed when I recently saw a video of a home invasion that was in an email from Front Sight training site.

    During a home invasion if you don’t have it on you or within reach if you are in bed you are SOL.

    I’m now back to having one on me both at home and away.

  19. Jim Morrison Says:

    http://www.frontsight.com/video/lastchance.asp?vid=2

  20. sofa Says:

    Just like this couple- Jose Guerena was in his home when he was surrounded and murdered by a violent group of killers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jose_Guerena_shooting

    When laws no longer apply, then there is no law, except what corruptocrats want to make up, an ‘insiders mafia’. None of the ‘perps’ in this gang are charged with crimes since there is no law, only ‘connections’ and ‘raw force’ in this crime wave of organized theft and violence.

    If there was a single ‘oathkeeper’ in that jurisdiction, A SINGLE ONE, then laws would apply, and the concept of law would be preserved. By continued enabling of such premeditated organized crimes, these perps and their enablers destroy what used to be our system of government. They make themselves repugnant to the concept of law. They are ‘domestic enemies’ Matt Bracken writes about.

    Q: “Why we carry guns”?
    A: Because Tories behaved just like this, and we made them leave.

    “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it.”
    – Frederic Bastiat

    “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”
    – George Washington

    “When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.”
    – Frederic Bastiat

    “Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience.”
    – John Locke

    Absolved. It’s what we explained to the Tories and their mercenaries. That’s “why we carry guns”.

  21. Mas Says:

    Ah…sofa, sofa, sofa…

    We have tried to help you here, kid. But the sad fact is, you are a testimony to what may be a sad state of affairs in middle school education. You have yet to grasp such concepts as “research,” “critical thinking,” and “looking at both sides of an issue.”

    Please re-read what you posted here. You are saying, in essence, that you think people who are suspected in drug dealing and murder should be able to use a stolen AR15 to shoot police who are serving a legitimate warrant on them.

    Because, anyone with a three-digit IQ who looks at both sides can realize, that IS the Guerena situation.

    Kid, I’ve let you stay here because I try to encourage young people to be here. But, honest to God, it’s time for you to print off all the stuff you’ve posted here (and probably elsewhere), and sit down with your parents and your junior high school guidance counselors, show your spew to them, and ask them what they think of how YOU think.

    Hopefully, they can help you. Because, so far, I haven’t been able to. All I’ve been able to do is finally teach you how to spell “Tories,” and that is not nearly enough to pump the poisoned Kool-Aid you’ve swallowed out of your stomach.

    Sincerely,
    Mas

  22. Peregrin Took Says:

    Mas,

    Please re-read what you posted here. You are saying, in essence, that you think that LEOs should be able to serve no-knock warrants, then mow-down anyone who tries to defend him or herself.

    Because, anyone with a three-digit IQ who looks at both sides of the issue realize that innocent people never need protection from gung-ho SWAT-style teams who shoot first and ask questions later.

    I guess since the warrant was “legitimate,” that makes what happened to this man A-OK, huh? Yes, innocent civilians are never abused by law enforcement or the judicial system…

    From your earlier comment, it seems like you are armed at all times. Well, if someone in para-military gear busts down your door, just lay down and submit. Sure it could be bad people, but what it’s your local boys in blue serving a “legitimate” warrant?

    Sincerely,

    A low-IQ Kool-Aid drinker

  23. Mas Says:

    Peregrin, while police have long been allowed to serve no-knock warrants, this wasn’t one. Research will show you that the cops did announce.

    Are you saying you plan to shoot police if they serve a warrant on you?

  24. Jack Says:

    I am retired Police officer, firearms instructructor, Life Member of the NRA, hunter and have always had guns. As a police officer responding to many prowler, burglary in progress calls I can attest you need to have a firearm accesable at all times. You most take your personal safety seriously and protect yourself because at the least expected time as we seen here trouble can come to you. Carry your gun when around your property, when out and about and have guns accesable in your home. Also have an alarm system, dog and secure your homes. Sad we have to live this way but unfortuantely this is the crazy world we live in these days. Be safe everyone and my prayers to the victim’s and the family in this horrible case.

  25. Peregrin Took Says:

    Mas, no, that’s not what I mean. I mean that if I lived in an area with routine home invasions, and many armed men suddenly busted into my home, I would be disoriented not knowing who they were, pull my gun just in case it was bad guys, then I would be promptly shot to pieces by law enforcement who would then lie, distort the facts, and cover-up to save their own backsides (On a side note, cartels and other gangs use this tactic to gain the compliance of their victims, that is, dressing up like law enforcement. It happens more than you may realize.).

    But if you have access to some information that shows that said LEOs were perfectly in the right, and Guerena was some drug-fueled madman bent on taking out the “the man,” then please share your research. I’m being very serious, because I have apparently missed something that you’re privy to and I am not. Everything I’ve seen shows that the LEOs lit up his house like a firecracker and then lied to cover up their mess.

    I’m not itching to shoot anyone. I just want LEOs to reduce the amount of SWAT-style home invasions where they go in guns ablazin’ and killing children and innocent victims. Stories abound of SWAT-style invasions gone horribly wrong, killing kids and even serving these no-knock warrants on the wrong address. Imagine if something like this happens to you, and you are in the middle of cleaning your guns. You know that they will shoot you down like a dog and not bat an eye doing it. No, LEOs must be held to a higher standard. But to me, most are but a rogue gang with the force of law behind them.

  26. Mas Says:

    Peregrin, some of the officers had the initial impression that Guerena had fired first, mistaking the muzzle blast of the first officer who fired as Guerena’s gunfire. Honest mistakes aren’t lies. The stolen AR in Guerena’s hands was hit from the front, showing it was pointed at the officers at the time they fired, after they announced. There’s no reason to believe any of them lied about anything.

    Earlier blog discussions here, starting around April of this year, discuss the situation in more depth.

  27. Manny Says:

    I am in the process of getting my CCW to allow at least the option of carry at most times (can’t carry at work, forbidden my the company and I also spend significant time in places that are verbotten for carry as well) but always have a gun available at home, though generally not on my person.

    Mas,
    On a similar note regarding unexpected threats, will you be doing any dissection of the release of wild animals that recently happened in Ohio? Approximatly 50 lions, wolves, bears etc, turned loose, it could have been a true tragedy. The responding Leo’s certainly had an unusual situation and I’d love to see your indepth coverage and review.

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