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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


Monday, January 9th, 2017

It’s January 9.  That’s a date I’m unlikely to forget.

My mother was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts on January 9, 1909.  She would have been 108 years old today.  She died at 66, two years younger than I am now, of heart failure.  She was a wonderful woman and a great mom, and we lost her far too soon.

My first grandchild was born on January 9, ten years ago today.  Happy birthday, kid! Your great-grandmother would have been hugely proud of you!

A bit later in 2017 I’ll experience the 40th anniversary of writing the Cop Talk column in American Handgunner magazine.  The late, great Col. Rex Applegate had kicked off Cop Talk in the July/August 1977 issue .  I was assigned the column a couple of issues later, the November/December ’77 issue which was the same one that introduced Col. Jeff Cooper as a contributing editor to the magazine , and my first Cop Talk oddly enough was Part 2 of a Part 1 that had begun the issue before in a column then called The Combat Course .

Ah, memories…


…at the same time we remember Shakespeare’s admonition “What’s past is prologue,” and Santayana’s reminder that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” we also have to keep in mind that we can’t change the past (as much as those who practice disingenuous alternate history try), but what we CAN influence is the future.

Gonna keep on trying.  For the next generation, like my granddaughter on her birthday today, and so many more.

12 Responses to “REMEMBERING”

  1. Paul Edwards Says:

    Mas, my father only made it to 60 YOA, after Fighting in the Pacific during WW-II, and for many years I didn’t think that I would live even that long myself, but now, at 81 YOA, I can see that I was wrong, even though the wear, and tear, of Old Age, on some days, make me wish that I hasn’t?

    However, I still get regular e-mails from Trump’s Organization, inviting me to take Survey’s, or give them my thoughts as to How to set the Clock back to the America, that I knew, served, and hope to restore for my children, and Grand Children, so they won’t ever have to suffer under the rule of the Obama’s, and other Dictators in the United Nations (AKA: The League of Nations) of this World.

  2. Bob Frost Says:

    It’s nice to be able to look both ways gone, going, and coming. As you say, “keep on trying.”

    However, as far as the past goes, there are some things, even if not necessary, worth repeating. Congrats, Grampa!

  3. Curtis Says:

    Nothing compares to the joy of having a ten year old grandchild. My ten year old grandson advised me recently:

    “Grandpa, I really love you and I do not want to hurt your feelings, but would you please stop sending me emails? Email is for old people. From now on, please send me text messages.

    Also, you really need to learn how to use Instagram and Snapchat. I will come over on a Sunday afternoon to show you how Instagram and Snapchat work. Don’t be scared if it takes you a long time to learn about new apps. Because you are old, I will be patient if you get confused.

    Mom told me to cut you some slack, so I will, because I do not want to get into trouble at home. Oh, and please do not try to watch pro football on TV when I am teaching you. That would be really rude.”

    Mas, talk about receiving a smack down from a yung un! It was all I could do not to burst out laughing as I was lectured politely by a ten year old Internet geek of the highest order.” How I love my two grandsons! My other grandson is twelve years old and too focused on girls right now to worry about me! LOL!

  4. Spencer B. Says:


    Glad to be able to catch up with your blog tonight Sir. The dichotomy between the hilarity of your previous post with this, more reflective and perhaps even somber post makes for a very enjoyable reading experience.

    Good stuff, as always! Glad I came by tonight.

  5. LarryA Says:

    A proponent of an “assault weapon” ban explained to me that I shouldn’t oppose it, since it wouldn’t take my guns away. Existing AR-15s would be grandfathered.

    I told him that he really needed to quit using “grandfathered” that way. It reminds me that I am a grandfather, and that if I let the anti-gun folks win, then one day I would have to explain to my twin grandkids why I used to have rights, but now they don’t.

  6. LittleBill Says:

    Or William Faulkner: “The past is never dead; it’s not even past.”

    The old verities….

  7. Steve Long Says:


    “…what we CAN influence is the future.” It goes farther than perhaps you can imagine, like ripples across a pond. Although we’ve never met and I’ve yet to take take your classes, your thoughts and feelings have helped me immensely. It’s occurred not only on a personal level but been passed in part to my children and others as a hunter safety instructor here in New York State. Every time I’m looking out on a sea of faces, parts of the wisdom you and other great writers have shared enriches the experience of all or most of them. Some day I hope to be able to thank you in person. Until then, know that many will be forever grateful.

  8. Texas Lawman Says:

    Mas, nice words for an old washed-out cop…ha, ha! I’ve been enjoying and learning from your writings since the late ’70s — KEEP IT UP!

  9. Captain Bob Says:

    This stands out to me because my Mom was also born in 1909 and she would 108 years old later this year. She lived to 92, being active and alert to 91 1/2, and a pleasure to have around. She left indelible memories on me and, even though she died in 2002, I still think of her often.

  10. Two-gun Steve Says:

    Lately I started looking up old issues of American Handgunner on the Web. Pretty sure I will read everything that I might have missed. One thing I never forget is to look for the magazine on the racks, and buy it. Guess I would be smarter to subscribe, though.
    I always look forward to Cop Talk and the Ayoob Files in AH. Both it and Backwoods Home are great places to advertise, as well as to acquire timely knowledge.

  11. Bob Mueller Says:

    My paternal grandfather died 90 yeas ago today, the 11th. It was 9 days before my dad’s 7th birthday and 14 days before my uncle’s 11th.

    Grace and peace.

  12. Gregory Eads Says:

    hey Mas! glad to hear you are still doing…Rick Devoid is now a friend on Facebook…Quite a deal “getting older”… I’M 63 now; hard to believe LFI was 22 /23 years ago…We keep fighting…Looks much better, for the moment…Best wishes ! Greg Eads

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