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Massad Ayoob on Guns

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Archive for December, 2011

Massad Ayoob


Friday, December 30th, 2011

It’s a story that has played out before: someone thinks if their marriage license and their driver’s license are recognized by the State of New York, their license to carry a gun must be, too. A female medical student at the 9/11 memorial discovered otherwise, here:|maing9|dl4|sec3_lnk3%26pLid%3D123676

The plot thickened. Searching her purse after she tried to do the right thing and declare her little Kel-Tec P32, police found a glassine bag filled with white powder and, not surprisingly, sent it for analysis. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has made anti-gun campaigns his cause célèbre, publicly accused her of being in illegal possession of cocaine, here:

The medical student explained that the substance was powdered aspirin. Noo Yawkers don’t know what Southern folks know: powdered aspirin, notably Goody’s and BC Powders, are popular headache remedies south of the Mason-Dixon line, and the defendant and her pistol permit both hail from Tennessee.

For a hundred years, New York’s Sullivan Act has inflicted draconian felony punishment on those who carry or even merely possess handguns, even if they are licensed elsewhere. New York City won’t even recognize a permit issued in Albany or Buffalo. Google Plaxico Burress: even the rich and famous are not immune.

It is common for people innocently and honestly checking firearms at airports in New York to be arrested for felony illegal possession. A victimless crime, classic malum prohibitum, this has a ruinous effect on the lives of dozens of good American citizens every year, not to mention the waste in New Yorkers’ tax dollars.  The Tennessee medical student has drawn much sympathy from the general public, and even anti-gun politicians are urging authorities to go easy on the lady, for fear of creating a backlash in favor of House Resolution 822, which would require national reciprocity in recognition of other states’ handgun permits, as noted here:

And of course, some of my large-bore and Magnum-loving friends would say that since she only had a .32, it ought to at the very least be reduced to a misdemeanor.


My hope for the New Year is that HR 822 passes the Senate and becomes national law…that the med student gets a finding from the crime lab of “Yep, it’s powdered aspirin” and gets enough from her libel suit against Mayor Bloomberg and the City of New York to pay her legal fees and compensate her for her suffering… and that some common sense gets restored to the gun law situation in the United States.

I wish you all a happy, healthy, productive and safe New Year.

Massad Ayoob


Thursday, December 29th, 2011

I appreciate all the comments about “gun folks’ Christmas”… thanks to all.

As we bask in the aftermath of our holiday gift exchanges, Significant Other calls to my attention this cute YouTube rant from a little girl who, in her thus far short life, has apparently already tired of being told “If you’re female, you need Pink Princess Products.”

Significant Other shares the child’s sentiments. Adamantly opposing the current “pretty in pink” pistol marketing, she carries black guns, presumably the better to intimidate those who would try to sell her something  in Rose or Raspberry.

How unfortunate that the latest batch of firearms that came in for me to test for gun magazines included this one…

It suddenly occurs to me, the Insignificant Other, that I should perhaps round up some OTHER females to take part in the testing…

Massad Ayoob


Saturday, December 24th, 2011

With Christmas Eve and Christmas Day upon us, I join the rest of the Backwoods Home team in wishing the best of holidays to you and yours.

I was gonna make this entry about the many more people this year than last, who have given or received the gift of self-protection and protection of others, but my old friend Dave Workman beat me to it, here: .

Dave also shares another amusing observation, here:

Be sure to check the links on both.

Gun purchases are up hugely this Christmas season, all over the country. My last class of the year was last weekend, in Wisconsin, the most recent state to get shall-issue concealed carry. Tens of thousands of people have flooded the authorities with applications for concealed carry permits. I expect that this will save lives as soon as this coming year, if not before 2011 runs its course.

The firearm is a symbol of responsibility, a tool of rural living, and sometimes-needed safety/rescue equipment wherever you live.

If you’ve given such a gift of safety and recognition of responsibility – or received one – feel free to share the experience here.

From this end, best wishes for a safe, happy, and renewing holiday weekend.

Massad Ayoob


Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

OK…there’s HOW many “days ‘til Christmas” and you STILL haven’t squared away (a) what you’re gonna get for the shooters on your Christmas List, or (b) what the people who wanna get YOU gun stuff for the holidays are gonna buy for ya?

OMG…you’ve about run out of time for mail order, ain’tcha?

Not to worry…there’s still time for “someone” to buy “something suitable.”

AMMO: Food. Fuel. Ammunition.  There are basic needs to be considered here.  Ammunition comes in rectangular boxes that are easy to wrap. You live in some benighted place like Illinois, where those who buy gifts for shooters need firearms owners’ ID cards? Heck, get a gift certificate at the local Ammo Emporium.  Which brings us to…

GIFT CERTIFICATES: It’s a loser’s game for guys to buy guns for gals, or anyone to buy guns for anyone else for that matter, unless the “gifter” absolutely KNOWS what the “giftee” wants. Our job is not to make decisions for them: it’s to make sure they get something they WANT.

The gift certificate at the local gun shop fulfills this beautifully.  They may get more ammo cheaper at the Monster Mart, but a gift cert from the local gun shop gives more than just purchasing power.  It introduces the new shooter to EXPERT ADVICE FROM SPECIALISTS, which is an intangible value that’s generally worth far more than the dollar value of the gift cert.  If it’s Christmas Eve and all the gun shops are closed, THEN I’ll go to the 24-hour WalMart and get ‘em a gift certificate. (And, if they’re not into shooting as much as I hope they are, well, they can buy underwear or food or gasoline or some other generic needs with it.) But if the present is at least in part about sharing the values of what has been called the Gun Culture, get the gift certificate from someplace that can give the recipient good advice.  Ammunition and other consumable goods are transient. Good advice is timeless, and that’s what they’ll get at the specialty store, such as a gun shop.

Make the present mean something. A gift of something that can protect the recipient says, “I care about you, and I want you to be safe.” Some people I love will see that when they open what I left for them under their Christmas tree.

May it be so for you, on whichever side of the gift you may be.

Massad Ayoob


Thursday, December 15th, 2011

A few years ago at the SHOT Show, I met an entrepreneur named Scott Jordan.  He had come up with the Scott-E line, clothing designed for folks who carry sophisticated electronic gear…which turns out to be clothing that’s remarkably effective for carrying gun gear, too.

Pockets for iPhones. Tunnels through the clothing for chargers.  He’s made stuff with flip-down solar panels over the shoulders to feed the chargers!

All way more than a Luddite like yours truly can handle…but all the ingenious little pockets discreetly and securely hide everything from passports to spare keys to a stash of cash…and, of course, things like pocket pistols and ammo strips and spare magazines for fighting-size handguns. is the place to order – and remember, with only nine or so shopping days left, shipping time is running out.

I’ve been very happy with the quality and comfort of Scott’s product.  I’m wearing one of his sport shirts as I write this…feels like UnderArmour, only with a place to hide stuff.

Shooters, gun geeks, and just ordinary techno-yuppies should love the Scott-E-Vest product. All those non-gunners in your life need someplace to put their iPhones, too.

And, if anyone has been making Yuppie jokes because you carry an iPhone, get a MagPul carrier for it from

When your iPhone is in a MagPul carrier AND in a Scott-E-Vest…well, that just changes everything…

 ScottE clothing is low profile and functional…

…with more useful hidden pockets than most folks can use.

Cure a friend of the heartbreak of yuppiedom, and give them a MagPul carrier for their iPhone!




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