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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


Friday, February 1st, 2013

Marty Hayes, JD, is a world-famous firearms instructor and shooting champion. He’s the founder of the Firearms Academy of Seattle, and of the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network. I’ve had the privilege of working with him for decades.

He has granted permission to pass along this link to his editorial in the new issue of the ACLDN’s member newsletter. Having studied, lectured, and written on personal defense issues for decades, and after a long career in law enforcement from patrolman to chief, Hayes’ perspective carries a lot of weight.

Feel free to pass this along to others, along with anything else useful you might find in the Backwoods Home blog.  The word needs to get out to a public that has been horrendously misinformed on this and related issues.


  1. Stu Strickler Says:

    Thank you for posting that Mas.

  2. Jim in Fl Says:

    Thanks for passing that article along!
    That’s the best explanation I have herd so far.
    Just hope that it is passed on to the ones that so badly need to here it!

  3. Allan Says:

    As always from informative posting Mas. Many Thanks indeed.

    Well, they keep tellin me the Constitution is about hunting so I wrote them a letter. Went like this.

    Deer Government,

    text omitted……

  4. Roger Willco Says:

    It may be that uninformed citizens think modern weapons are vastly more powerful than the weapons of yesteryear. That is not the case. In the 1920s and 1930s gangsters and police officers both used Thompson submachine guns. Tommy guns are REAL machine guns that fire .45 ACP from 20, 30, 50 and 100 round magazines. They could do this in 1921!!! But the Tommy gun wasn’t powerful enough for Clyde Barrow (ever heard of “Bonnie & Clyde”?). It wouldn’t reliably punch through the car doors of the day. So he used a Browning Automatic Rifle, a REAL machine gun in .30-’06 Springfield.

    Some have written that they don’t like those of us saying the New World Order will take our guns “…from our cold, dead hands.” I am one who has said that. Why? Because when I think about what it would take to resist our modern government, it seems like a suicide mission. The American military is the greatest fighting force in the known universe! When the terrorists come out to fight us they all end up dying. If I was a jihadist there is no way I would take on the US military. I would wait until they withdrew from Iraq and Afghanistan, and then I would launch a revolution.

    Now imagine you are part of a militia group, trying to restore the US Constitution. {You are not a revolutionary, the Communists in office are the ones who “revolt” against the supreme law of the land.} But 10,000 feet up in the sky is an armed drone. It spies on your group, identifies you as patriots, and then fires on you from 10,000 feet above. That is why I say they will take my guns from my cold, dead hands. Of course, the Vietnamese beat us, but they killed 58,000 of our guys while we killed 1 and a half million of them. I believe most of our military and police are on our side. But, if not, taking on the US government is a suicide mission.

  5. RichNH Says:

    I’ve always felt that in heated times like this one should structure your arguments in accordance with the people you’re speaking with. If you are talking to reasonable people, you can use reasonable aerguments. Some people however aren’t reasonable, they are hard core committed to the total disarming of all civilians. Usually, when asked why I need a military styled firearm when it can’t be used for hunting and is only good for killing people I simply tell them that I have it to shoot those people who try to confiscate my hunting rifle. This response usually has the desired results of completely disorientating them and then thowing them into an emotional tizzy. I’ve also found that that sort of response from the gun banners gives great amusement to pro-gunners and fence sitters alike.

    Warning: don’t not try this without Kleenex nearby as you’re likely to get sprayed with spittle.

    Then, after things calm down we then get into a serious discussion regarding the 2nd and what it really means (without the antis, they have left by this point in time).

  6. Hanza Says:

    Gun control: Officials set sights on ammunition background checks

    U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, has introduced a bill that would establish universal background checks for ammunition purchases. The law would also increase record-keeping obligations for ammo sales and require retailers to notify the police when one person buys more than 1,000 rounds.

  7. Phil R Says:

    A very interesting article but what gave me the most ammunition for the discussion of the 2nd amendment was the Supreme Courts Heller vs. Washington DC decision. The way the 2nd amendment was dissected, word for word, sure made it clear what the founders were alluding to. Thanks ,Mass

  8. TXCOMT Says:

    Curious that Hayes noted a shift away from shotguns to ARs for home defense…I’m thinking that shift will change directions as the AR supply has dried up. Shotguns are the new ARs now!


  9. Linda Pendleton Says:

    Great article by Marty. Thanks for sharing Mas 🙂

  10. Patrick Cimo Says:

    GUNS Are NOT The PROBLEM: Each day 299,999,975 [Million], or 99.9999917% of the 300,000,000 [Million] Firearms, of ALL types, owned by 85,000,000+ [Million] Americans… Killed NO ONE!

  11. Dave Says:

    As long as the American people have the right to own the very same type of weapons with which the military and police are armed, they need not fear the government. It is that purpose that was and still is the primary reason behind the one line paragraph the States ratified as the Second Amendment, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    So does that mean we should each be allowed to own a nuclear weapon…how about an F35 fighter….how about a Predator Drone?

  12. Noah Vaile Says:

    These modern, semi-automatic rifles are used for both sporting purposes and hunting as well as personal (and potentially Constitutional) defense.

  13. Mike Hamel Says:

    I just forwarded the article to Senator Bill Nelson. Let’s see what kind of response I get, if any. His last two responses were form letters.

  14. KiA Says:

    I am not aware of a single police department armed with a nuclear weapon or an F35 fighter plane. what an absurd question!

  15. Dave Says:


    Please go back and read Mr. Hayes’ quote. You will see the words “military and police”:

    “As long as the American people have the right to own the very same type of weapons with which the military and police are armed,…..”

  16. John in ME Says:


    It is not possible for one to keep and/or bear a nuclear weapon or fighter jet. That argument does not hold up. Read the Heller decision and some of the discussions contained in the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers.

    The arms protected are personal arms (although some citizens in the revolutionary era DID have their own field artillery).

  17. Patrick Says:

    MA Gun Crime Due to Surrounding States’ Lax Laws. Or Not.
    Gun-related crimes on the rise in Massachusetts, proclaims the headline at the Boston Globe, factually enough. And then the strap-line: Firearms flowing across borders. In other words, firearms-related crime is on the rise in Massachusetts because “The quality of your gun-licensing laws is only as good as those surrounding you.” Ayup. Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox pins the blame for the Bay State’s gun-related crime on surrounding states’ firearms freedom. I mean lax gun laws. Interesting that the article starts with the blame shifters and then reveals the rate of rising gun crime. Just for S&Gs, let’s do it their way . . .

    Many guns found in Massachusetts travel only a short distance: 133 crime guns were traced to New Hampshire in 2011, and 79 to Maine, according to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Those states alone accounted for nearly one-third of the 669 crime guns traced to states outside of Massachusetts.

    New Hampshire and Maine, unlike Massachusetts, do not require a permit or license to buy a gun, although weapons bought at federally licensed gun shops are subjected to a background check.

    “If you’re a kid in New Bedford and you had a beef with somebody, what do you do? You drive three hours to Maine to buy a gun,” said New Bedford Mayor Jonathan Mitchell, a former federal prosecutor in Boston, who appeared with Menino and other Massachusetts mayors last week to press for stricter gun laws.

    If Maine had tougher gun laws, the bad guys would just give up and forget about the whole thing, I suppose. Lest we forget, Maine gun dealers don’t have to run buyers through a NICS background check. Oh wait, they do. And non-dealer firearms sales to felons are legal in Maine. Oh wait. They aren’t.

    And God knows there aren’t any illegal guns already in Massachusetts. Oh wait. There are. In fact, here’s a handy little chart detailing the origin of guns used for Massachusetts firearms-related crimes (according to the Globe).

    I wonder why NONE of the guns listed are from Massachusetts. What are the odds?

    Anyway, 212 out of 366 guns in the survey come from adjacent states: New Hampshire and Maine (RI doesn’t get a look in). But it’s also true that almost half—154 of the 366 guns in the survey—came from way the heck out of state.

    Thirty-eight guns (more than 10 percent) migrated from California (with some help, presumably). Why that’s one of the only states with tougher (i.e. more unconstitutional) gun control laws than Massachusetts!

    And while we’re talking about stats, let’s see how the civilian disarmament movement’s doing in Massachusetts, reducing crime-wise:

    In 2011, Massachusetts recorded 122 murders committed with firearms, a striking increase from the 65 in 1998, said Fox, the Northeastern professor. Nationwide, such murders increased only 3 percent from 1999 to 2010, the CDC says.

    There were increases in other crimes involving guns in Massachusetts, too. From 1998 to 2011, aggravated assaults with guns rose 26.7 percent. Robberies with firearms increased 20.7 percent during that period, according to an FBI analysis conducted for the Globe.

    The rise in Massachusetts shootings extends beyond crime. All gunshot injuries not resulting in death, including accidents but excluding suicide attempts, increased 20 percent from 2001 to 2011, according to the state Department of Public Health. Across the country, the rise was 18 percent, the CDC reported.

    To be fair, the Globe checks in with Massachusetts gun rights advocates, who deride the “it’s not working so we need to do more of it” mindset. It’s odd that no one mentions the fact that gun rights are not dependent on any sort of crime calculus. But there it is. The article ends with this little afactual gem.

    Gun-control advocates scoff at the notion that rising gun violence can be attributed to the 1998 laws. Instead, they suggest, the problem is linked to large cuts in police budgets, recession-related poverty, and the continuing flow of guns from out of state. “Since 2000, law enforcement funding has been cut by billions across the nation,” said John Rosenthal, founder and chairman of Stop Handgun Violence, an advocacy group based in Newton.

    Yes, police budgets have been cut, but it’s worth noting that police budgets have been ballooning for decades. Click here for a list of how much government spends per resident per year on police throughout Massachusetts. Not taxpayers. Residents.

    How much of that money goes to police pensions? Dunno. But I do know that Massachusetts gun owners’ Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms is about to get hammered. Again. Still

  18. KiA Says:

    back on topic, i have to say that while Mas & Mr. Hayes advocate the practicality of “assault-rifles” for self-defense, i think both would agree that now we’re all damned so much more in the legal aftermath due to jury perception.

  19. Hanza Says:

    Doctor warns: Obama taking over psychiatry

    The article is about how governments take over the mental health system which can then be made to declare any one the government doesn’t like to be mentally ill, and institutionalised and otherwise marginalized. The Soviets made good use of this.

    Along with that they would lose the 2nd Amendment rights.

  20. Patrick Says:

    Minnesota Assault Weapon Ban Bill HF 241 Revealed

    We had a heads-up on Minnesota’s looming gun control legislation. In the wake of the President’s visit to the Gopher State to promote civilian disarmament, Bill HF 241 has dropped [click here to read]. The summary says it all: “Assault weapons; crime established for manufacturing, transferring, or possessing assault weapons; existing assault weapon disposal or registration provided for; terms defined; data classified; language clarified; and penalties provided.” If passed, the bill’s provisions would go into effect on September first. Breaking the law would be a felony, punishable by five years in jail. As we’ve said before, the states are the front lines in the battle to defend and extend Americans’ Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. With gun rights falling prey to red state – blue state partisan politics, the country is being rent asunder. One state at a time.

  21. AixSponsa Says:

    Around the block one more time. Rehashing the same old arguments about guns and the semantics of terminology?

    Please recognize that a serious social agenda is our enemy/ people.

    I’ll be short= Another I discovered this morning is this:

    My best friend’s mother age 77, was in the hosp in Dec. This morning I was there when Medicare told us that unless the hospital bill (part A)exceeds 3 times her annual income, Medicare will pay NOTHING/ zero/ zilch/ nada.

    Welcome to ObamaCare.

    Those of us getting close to “the age” are hereby officially stewed.

  22. Richard Says:

    Jesse Jackson: Assault Weapons Shoot Down Airplanes, Blow Up Railroads

    The gun control advocates keep using the phrase “common sense.” It’s a refrain we’ve heard since the 1980s, and is a rather effective “brain hack” used to try and make the speaker seem like their proposals aren’t as radical as might otherwise be believed. However, while gun control advocates might use the phrase “common sense” almost to the point where it seems like a verbal tic, every time they open their mouths they remove all doubt that they don’t have any. Point and case, Jesse Jackson . . .

    Anyone who has waded into the debate about the effectiveness of the AR-15 platform inevitably runs into the argument that the 5.56 round is underpowered. Even the AK-47 and its 7.62×39 round is puny compared to the mighty 7.62 NATO used in most hunting rifles. But, apparently when you add the label “assault rifle” to those weapons they become Godlike in power. At least in the minds of the aforementioned gun control advocates.

    From the Business Insider:

    Rev. Jesse Jackson on Sunday repeated the debunked claim that semi-automatic and so-called assault weapons can “shoot down airplanes” — and added that they can also “blow up railroads.”

    “Semi-automatic weapons are not just about gun control, they’re about national security,” Jackson said on Fox News. “You know that these weapons can shoot down airplanes, they can blow up railroads. This is really a whole national security issue.”

    In this debate, words matter. Phrases have power. And the scarier you make a gun sound, the more people overestimate its firepower. Even to the point of believing that it can “blow up railroads,” when common sense tells us that’s impossible. Or, at least, no more likely than with any other firearm you could pick up off the rack at your local gun store.

    The civilian disarmament advocates don’t care about facts, they only care about emotions. And the more you can scare the American public, the easier it is to legislate based on those fears. That’s what they’re counting on. Which makes efforts like’s campaign to take as many new shooters to the range as possible even more important. Education is the only way to show exactly how little “common sense” gun control offers.

  23. Matt in Tampa Says:

    I took that article (printed out) to work and managed to get one of my coworkers (who is opposed to semiauto rifles and hicap mags) to read it. To my surprise, she came away with a different point of view. She now says ‘OK now I understand about semiautomatics, but we need to do something to keep them away from crazy people who want to shoot kids. People who are mentally ill should not be allowed to run around with guns.”

    Small victory, I guess. She at least acknowledges that mental illness (untreated/unsupervised) is the primary problem, not ‘evil assault rifles’.

  24. Tom from WNY Says:

    If Jesse Jackson says it, it must be true. Airplanes and railroads? Wow. I did not realize my 5.56×45 NATO or my 7.62×39 woud do that. Reminds me of the scene in “Saving Private Ryan” at the end where the Tom Hanks character is emptying a 1911A1 at a Nazi King Tiger tank and it erupts in to a fireball. As much as I respect and like the .45 ACP, it cannot do that to what was one of the most heavily armored (and gunned) tanks of WWII. Then you see the Republic P-51 fly over.

    And to think, one of the last belt semi-autos NYS left us was the 1911; 7 rounds in a stock magazine.

  25. Mike L., New Port Richey, FL Says:

    Thanks Mas. I have been sharing your blog (with all credit, of course) on social media and in email to friends. In the 1980’s this sleeping giant was awakened, and after the mid 90’s drifted back to slumber. However, these last few years, and especially now WE MUST ALL BE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO DEFEAT THE ANTIGUN AGENDA!! You and many have been there and now the rest of us need to take action, too, whatever that means to each individual. HEY YOU READING THIS BLOG – AT MINIMUM DO THIS: the NRA has an excellent web page where one inputs their zip code and relavent legislation pops up along with pre-made emails that you send with a few clicks. DO IT NOW

    Thanks again, Mas

    Mike LaSala

  26. wg Says:

    I once saw a breathless expose from an Oklahoma paper of a felon arrested who had a .50 caliber weapon capable of bringing down a jet airliner. It was a .50 caliber black powder rifle.

  27. Chris - VA Says:

    LAPD got AR15’s out on the streets due to current danger.
    Things can change quickly yet the left wants all of them gone forever.

  28. David Keough Says:

    I’ve heard it asked, why anyone needs an AR-15 that can unload a 30 round magazine, in less than 60 seconds. Well thinking about it, in IDPA, they call that spray and pray. I feel a well trained teacher or home owner, can defend their lives, against anyone who simply rapid fires any weapon. By using a glock, (an example) in any caliber. Can stop a threat.

  29. Patrick Says:

    California’s Anti-Gun Senate Democrats Announce Plans to Further Infringe on the Second Amendment
    Posted on February 8, 2013

    Last week, anti-gun Assembly Democrats announced their plans to eliminate the right of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Yesterday, anti-gun Senate Democrats did the same. In a press release, Senate Democrats announced several egregious anti-gun bills they are planning to promote and pursue in the 2013 legislative session.

    According to the Brady Campaign’s national ranking of state gun control laws, California is already THE “best” (most restrictive) state in the nation and has already banned pseudo “assault weapons.” So, even though California is considered the most restrictive state, anti-gun state Senators seem to think more gun laws will reduce their violent crime problem where current gun control laws have failed. By definition, violent and insane criminals violate laws, especially gun control laws. They neither obey gun bans, nor register their firearms and absolutely do not comply with any gun control schemes whatsoever. As a result, innocent law-abiding citizens are the only ones who pay the price and are left defenseless and made victims or criminals.

    The language in several of these onerous bills have not been finalized or assigned a bill number, but below we have listed the bill explanations according to the press release.

    Detachable Magazines, introduced by “F” rated state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, prohibits the sale, purchase, manufacture, importation or transfer of all semi-automatic rifles that can accept detachable magazines.

    “High Capacity” Magazines, introduced by “F” rated state Senator Loni Hancock, bans the possession of “high capacity” ammunition magazines over ten rounds.

    Shotgun Definition, introduced by “F” rated state Senator Hanna-Beth Jackson, redefines a banned shotgun with a revolving cylinder to include the new technology of a shotgun-rifle combination.

    Ownership Record, also introduced by Senator Steinberg, requires firearm ownership records on ALL firearms.

    Gun Loans, introduced by “F” rated state Senator Marty Block, bans unregulated gun loans, with exceptions, including hunting.

    APPS Expansion, introduced by “F” rated state Senator Mark Leno, expands Armed Prohibitive Persons System (APPS) list to include more than two DUIs, among other crimes, and would prohibit those individuals from residing in a home with any firearms.

    Firearm Safety Certificate, introduced by Senator Block, establishes a safety certificate for handguns, mirroring the training currently required annually to lawfully carry a concealed weapon (CCW).

    Senate Bill 47, again introduced by “F” rated state Senator Leland Yee, requires the registration of most semi-automatic centerfire rifles with detachable magazines sold between January 2001 to December 2013 and bans tools (“bullet button”) used to detach and replace magazines from semi-automatic rifles.

    Senate Bill 53, introduced by “F” rated state Senator Kevin de Leon, requires ammunition purchasers in California to obtain an ammunition purchase permit first by passing a full and complete background investigation, registration and thumb printing for all ammunition sales and bans the internet/mail order purchase of all ammunition.

    Senate Bill 108, introduced by Senator Yee, requires a person who is 18 years of age or older, who owns, leases, rents, or is other legal occupant of a residence to store a firearm that he or she owns or has lawful possession of locked in a container or otherwise be disassembled each time the person leaves his or her property.

    Senate Bill 140, introduced state Senators Leno and Steinberg, authorizes the California Department of Justice (DOJ) to raid existing Dealers’ Record of Sales (DROS) funding to eliminate the 19,000 backlog of individuals on the APPS.

    The NRA will continue to monitor these onerous bills against law-abiding citizens. In the meantime, call AND e-mail your state Senator urging him or her to protect law-abiding citizens instead of penalizing them for the criminal actions of others. Contact information for your state Senator can be found here.

  30. Patrick Says:

    Emeryville, CA Police Chief Ken James: “A Gun Is Not a Defensive Weapon” video of him saying so on youtube.

  31. WT Says:

    Wow, CA gun owners have got a lot to put up with, both now and possibly in the future, in the Golden State!

  32. the Northwestern Diamondback of THR Says:

    @Chief James: Then why do YOU and YOUR officers need ’em? If it has no place in the civilian home, then it has no place in a cruiser ready-rack…

  33. Patrick Says:

    Supt. McCarthy: “Chicago Does Not Have Strict Gun Laws”

    Windy City PD Superintendant Garry McCarthy has it all figured out. Finally. He’s looked at his city’s murder rate and discovering that it’s higher than New York, a city with three times the population. His boys have confiscated 109 illegal guns since January 1. Garry’s also apparently been combing through the FBI’s uniform crime reports because he’s found that — shazam! — gangs, drugs and illegal guns are intertwined. I know, right? This is evidently why The Godfather pays him the big bucks. Garry has that unique ability to peer through the miasma of chaos that parts of Chicago has become and he’s put his finger right…on…the…problem. But wait! He has a solution, too . . .

    McCarthy just held a press conference to announce that the fix to Chicago’s gun crime problem is mandatory minimum sentences. That’s right, he wants to make sure that anyone caught with an illegal gun (which is pretty much all of them as far as he’s concerned) goes away and stays away.

    Then he showed a couple of poster boards with mug shots. On one were a series of murderers who’d committed their crimes with illegal guns. On the other were victims of those crimes, criminals themselves. His point: If the shooters had been put away, the people on the other board would still be alive.

    But he didn’t stop there. The victims were criminals, too. And he wanted to make it clear that if they’d been kept behind bars, too, they’d have been much safer than they were out on the streets. So the powers that be in The City of Big Shoulders seem to have come to the conclusion that, given their Mogadishu-like crime problem, Chicagoans would be safer behind bars than free to stroll the avenues.

    Finally, the top cop had a plea for the media. He asked them (paraphrasing here) not to adopt the talking points of gun rights organizations when referring to his city. In his exact words, “Chicago does not have strict gun laws.” And given what’s been enacted in New York, not to mention what’s in the works in Minnesota, California, Colorado, Maryland and others, he may soon be right. Relatively speaking

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