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Massad Ayoob on Guns

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Archive for January, 2012

Massad Ayoob


Saturday, January 28th, 2012

We discussed here in February, 2010 how the Starbucks chain, when gun haters demanded that firearms be banned from their coffee shop premises, stood up and said no, they would follow the laws of the given state, and those legally carrying guns would be welcome.  My friend and colleague Dave Workman brings you up to date here: . Be sure to read his links for background.

It seems than an anti-gun group has called for a boycott of Starbucks on this coming Valentine’s Day, February 14.  As Dave explains, many of us in the gun movement will be buying something at Starbucks on that day, just to make sure that Starbucks has a profitable holiday despite being boycotted by the antis.

No one put it better than Mike Crenshaw at the respected firearms forum found at A moderator who posts there as “hso,” Mike sent the following message to Starbucks headquarters: “I’ve just heard that there’s a planned boycott on Feb. 14 by anti-Second Amendment groups attempting to punish Starbucks for their decision to follow state and local law instead of changing company policy on law abiding customers carrying firearms legally. While I’m an occasional customer I’ll make a point of doing my share to offset any business Starbucks may lose due to this proposed boycott. I’ll see to it that my family and I are in Starbucks at least once on Feb. 14.Thank you for not caving in to the radical beliefs of a small vocal group of marginalized extremists.”  The discussion thread can be found at .

Crenshaw, Workman, and the rest. This Valentine’s Day, I’m gonna drive my sweetie the twenty-some miles to the nearest Starbucks and scarf up a Yuppie coffee, or a hot chocolate, or a boutique muffin, or whatever. It’s about showing solidarity with an entity that stood up against an attack on our freedoms. And sending a positive thank-you email to Starbucks – thanks for that idea, Mr. Crenshaw! – makes huge sense.

Massad Ayoob


Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Lots of folks have planned what gun(s) they’re going to buy this year.  An Internet friend on a closed forum has taken a different approach: his new year’s resolution is to spiff up the guns he already has.

I can march to that. Shortly before the end of the last year, I picked up a new Glock 17 with the RTF2 grip frame treatment. RTF stands for Rough Textured Finish, and this one is so aggressive that Glock is only making it now for police holster guns. I found it uncomfortable to wear in an inside the belt holster against bare skin under an un-tucked T-shirt; it’s much more abrasive than the standard RTF treatment on the current Generation 4 Glock pistols.  Significant Other likes the way it sits in her hand, though, and she enjoys Glock matches, so this one got some Dawson adjustable sights with bright fiber optic on the front post.  She is partial to light trigger pulls on match guns, and this will be a dedicated tournament-shooting pistol, so we’ve installed a 3.5-pound connector from Lone Wolf.

My favorite pistol since I was twelve has been the 1911 Colt .45 auto. Back in the Time of the Ancient Ones, as my children would call my prime of life years, I tested a then-new Colt Enhanced Lightweight Commander .45. It grouped about two inches for five shots with just about anything at 25 yards, and I don’t recall it jamming. I liked it enough to buy it, and set about making a project gun out of it for carry.  I figured I’d have the best masters do each bit of work. The legendary Dick Heinie installed one of his street-concealable speed-reload magazine chutes. Pete Single, perhaps the best checkering artisan in the business, checkered the frame for traction.

Time went by, and the project slid further and further toward the back burners. I won a Commander-length Bar-Sto barrel and bushing at a match, and will send that to Irv Stone IV for his masterful installation, which should bring it from a two-inch grouper to a “one-inch gun” at 25 yards, without sacrificing reliability.  I’m still trying to decide who I’ll ask to do the trigger – it’s pretty decent right now, but a plastic trigger is just not esthetically acceptable – and I’m trying to decide between Dave Lauck at D&L Sports and Hilton Yam at 10-8 for the heavy duty fixed night sights. When all that is done, it will go to Robbie Barrkman at Robar for a finish that’s impervious to weather and sweat.

When it’s done, it’ll be my “geezerhood gun” for retirement if I ever get that far. Light to carry, hard hitting, something I’m comfortable with…and, yes, there IS a nostalgia factor at work there.

I don’t usually give my guns nicknames, but I may call this one “Freddy the .45.” In the “Nightmare on Elm Street” movies, the monstrous Freddie was said to be “the bastard child of a thousand madmen.” This pistol will kinda be the bastard child of a thousand madly good gunsmiths.  (Well…maybe not a thousand…but writers are allowed poetic license, aren’t we?)

But, enough about my stuff. What’s your “grail gun” you intend to buy for 2012, or your project to customize a firearm you already have in your possession?  Share it here!

9mm GLock 17 RTF2 out of the box…





 …and same pistol retrofitted with Dawson adjustable rear sight and fiber optic front. Lighter trigger connector and oversize slide lock lever have also been added.

Massad Ayoob


Friday, January 20th, 2012

I had waited for some time after the announcement to get my review copy of Julie Golob’s book, “Shoot.” I was not disappointed. She put in the tips I expected for seasoned shooters…but I was pleasantly surprised to see that she devoted much of her book to new shooters, and much to those who had owned guns and been shooting for a long time, but had not yet stepped into the deep and exciting pool of competitive shooting.

I’ve known Julie for years, back when she shot as Julie Goloski. While I’d love to adopt her, she already has a dad, the man who set her on her dynamic shooting path. As a shooter, she has kicked butt winning national championships in multiple handgun disciplines.  Julie goes beyond that as a master of the shooting sports: most famous for her handgun victories, she also competes with the rifle and the shotgun.

Julie is living proof of the fallacy that a woman must set aside her femininity to compete in what has too long been seen as a sport that’s “a man’s world.” She’s beautiful enough that she could have been a model. I’ve seen her teach at the firearms industry’s major trade gathering, the SHOT Show (where I expect she is this week) and she’s awesome at that.  She’s smart enough that she was chosen to be the administrator of what may be the dominant squad of industry sponsored professional tournament shooters, Team Smith & Wesson. She is sufficiently kind and graceful socially to be a perfect ambassador representing the shooting sports world. When she chose to marry one of my highest achieving graduates, Simon Golub, Julie probably shattered the wistful fantasies of thousands of male shooters. More to the point, though, the two of them and their little one comprise a classic young American family, which happens to be devoted to sharing the Gun Culture with an America that needs to understand that these values are part of their roots. I think “role models” may be the term I am groping for.

Julie Golob’s understanding of that shines through in her book, “Shoot.” I think it’s going to turn a lot of people who aren’t shooters and gun owners into shooters and gun owners. I think it’s going to help push a lot of people from being casual gun owners into becoming serious, really skilled shooters. While a great many of those people will be female, take it from a male whose butt she has kicked in national matches, men can learn from her book, too.

And, needless to say, I think you should buy Julie Golob’s book “Shoot,” and maybe pass it around to people you know who could benefit from reading it.

Massad Ayoob


Monday, January 16th, 2012

One thing six-plus decades in this life has taught me is that people are overly-optimistic with our culture’s custom of New Year’s Resolutions. Therefore, I figured I should wait until a couple of weeks in to put my own in perspective.

New Year’s Resolutions often revolve around personal vices. Quit smoking, quit drinking, make your sex life less dangerous. They key here is reasonable expectations. My resolutions in this regard were to make love to only the cleanest and sweetest woman, drink only the finest adult beverages, and smoke only choice tobacco. It’s working so far, which obviously proves that I’m right. J

Another resolution was to put up with less BS, and it’s relevant here because I’ve applied it to the blog you are now reading. In the years I’ve been doing the Backwoods Home firearms blog, the record will show that of 6,417 comments posted here by readers at the time I write this, I approved an even 6400.  (This doesn’t count deletion of spam that made it through the spam filter.)

Of the 17 that were not approved for posting over these years, some came from the posters’ own requests: “Mas, can you delete that, I posted to soon,” or something like that. There were a few for rabid racist ranting, and one or two messages were deleted because they viciously attacked others who had posted comments. (I’m the guy who writes the blog, and if you want to attack me, well, I’m fair game. Ad hominem attacks on others who post here? NO!)

One post deletion was for a filthy-mouthed dude who threatened me and others, and babbled about scenarios he claimed to have experienced that were only one step away from alien abduction anal probe stories in credibility. He was also the only person I’ve ever banned from commenting on this blog.

Until now.

The first full weekend of 2012, I was on the road shooting a couple of pistol matches. I fired up the laptop in the car with the air card, and found a spate of posts by someone who has been haunting this blog since the infestation of cop-haters that occurred here in April of 2011, after I posted about positive feelings toward armed citizens by the master police officers who were teaching at the annual conference of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association. This kid – he seems to be in early adolescence, and hasn’t contradicted me on that in his many postings – has for several months regurgitated cop-hating propaganda, often without a sense of time or place since he would introduce it into discussion threads such as memorial times for American servicemen who have given their lives for this country. I tried to explain things to him, and tell him where he could learn the reality. So did others. It fell on deaf ears.

His latest diatribes were the worst yet, comparing American police to assorted genocidal death camp executioners, and implying that anyone who had a permit to carry a pistol was a collaborator in un-Constitutional activities. Reading that crap, on the anniversary of the Tucson shooting, I decided that this blog was no longer going to allow the rantings of someone so out of touch with reality that he made me wonder…”Next Jared Laughner?”

So…so long, “sofa.”  I hope you find the help and the understanding you need. It was offered to you here, but you didn’t accept it.  I can’t inflict your out-of-touch-with-reality BS on those who read this blog any longer.

The record will show that anti-gunners and others are welcome to speak here. I trust the other readers, and myself, to handle anything they can bring up. Less than one ban a year? I can live with that. It shows that the vast majority who post comments here are thinking, rational human beings.

Massad Ayoob


Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

On January 8, the Brady Bunch suggested a lighting of a candle as a protest to gun violence.

Awww…how sweet.

The 8th, of course, was the one year anniversary of the grotesque mass murder in Tucson, Arizona by Jared Lee Loughner.  His most famous victim, left brain-damaged for life, was Arizona Congressman Gabby Giffords.  She was clearly his intended target.

The gun-banners made much of the fact that Representative Giffords was shot with a Glock 19 9mm pistol.  They neglected to mention that Gabby Giffords had, prior to the shooting, proudly stated that she owned and had a license to carry a Glock 19 of her own. The mass-murderer was put to the ground and captured by courageous citizens, including ARMED citizen Joe Zamudio, who was carrying a pistol of his own at the time, a Ruger P95 9mm.

But lighting a candle will prevent the Jared Loughners of the world from carrying out their monstrous deeds?  Good Lord…it’s like the candlelight vigils from the Take Back the Night Movement.

It’s nice to know that people care. Hell, I care. I’ve spent an adult lifetime learning how to ward off monsters such as Loughner, and sharing that knowledge with others.

Some pro-gun bloggers got together and did their own January 8 counterpoint to the Brady thing.  I wish I had contributed more to that: all I did was take a picture of some strong women with candles and nine millimeters at a Glock match in Clearwater, Florida on the 8th. (Great match, by the way, and kudos to the Wyoming Antelope Club in Clearwater for putting it on.)

The decades have taught me that women won’t take back the night by marching with candles. They’ll take it back when those who prey on them learn – some the hard and final way – that their intended victims can be more dangerous to them, than they are to their intended victims.

Those you see below have it right.

If some monster tries to rape or murder a woman I care about, I don’t want him to see the flickering light of a candle.

I want him to see a muzzle flash, from the front.

I hate to paraphrase Al Capone, but a candle and a Glock will earn women more safety than just a candle. From left: Gail, Kitty, and Lisa Marie of the Alabama Holster Company’s all-girl pistol team, January 8, at Glock match in Clearwater, FL.

And here, more guns n’ candles…

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