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Massad Ayoob on Guns

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Archive for April, 2017

Massad Ayoob

NRAAM DAY TWO

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

I noticed the “collector’s corner” here was much smaller than it has been at past NRA Annual Meetings.  That’s just sad…

Almost a mile from the annual meeting, Shannon Watts held her annual anti-NRA protest, claiming some 300 attendees.  Those there way it was way less, and I can tell you for a fact that a lot of the folks there were NRA people.  Some came for a lark, some to see if Ms. Watts and her guest speakers had anything of substance for a change this year (she didn’t), or both.  Some pro-gun stalwarts with cat-ate-the-canary grins can be seen on Facebook, posing with their Moms Demand Action tee shirts.  It’s an inside joke: the Demanding Moms were so desperate to make their ranks look more substantial than they were, they handed out the free shirts to passers-by, hence the inside joke the gun people are celebrating in those pictures.

Looked kinda like this. http://gunfreezone.net/index.php/2017/04/29/a-letter-to-florida-senators-from-a-constituent/

 

Massad Ayoob

2017 NRA ANNUAL MEETING, DAY ONE

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Spent the first day of the meeting at the annual Firearms Law Seminar, conducted off-site at the downtown Westin in Atlanta.  Emceed by Carol Bamberry, a formidable pro-gun litigator who made the thing work like a Swiss watch, I found it every bit as instructive as it was intended to be. List of topics and speakers can be found here: http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2017/04/19/nraam-2017-and-two-particular-highlights/ .

The Evil Princess went over to the anti-Trump, anti-gun “Die-In” and found it, well, dead.  Our friend Miggy Gonzalez got the same impression, here: http://gunfreezone.net/index.php/2017/04/28/atlanta-first-round-of-anti-nra-protest-is-a-notable-meh/ .

Pickings are reportedly kind of thin this year insofar as new product introductions.  Springfield Armory’s recent suspense-filled intro turned out to be their first traditional double action semiautomatic pistol, a 9mm single-stack called the XDE.  The safety/decock lever works the same way as the one on a Variant 1 HK USP or a current style Taurus PT-92.  Looking forward to giving it a live fire test drive.

I didn’t make it to the Trump appearance, since I was one of the speakers at the Legal Seminar at the same time, but those who did tell me they found him personable, upbeat, and humorous. He declared his continued support for Second Amendment issues, but at least one activist said he was disappointed the President didn’t create an executive order to eliminate gun-free zones like “he said he would.”

More tomorrow.

Massad Ayoob

NEW SHOOTIN’ GAME FOR YA TO TRY

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Well, not all that new, but not widely known.  The Evil Princess and I enjoy shooting Glock matches, hosted by the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation.  A third of each run is Bianchi Cup style 8” diameter falling plates shot from eleven yards, four plate racks per entry.  A third is the Five-To-Glock stage, shot on that many buff-colored cardboard targets at various ranges, the targets being the tombstone-shaped NRA D-1 developed originally for Bianchi Cup by my late mentor Ray Chapman. Finally, there’s the Glock M, an array of four D-1 cardboards and one piece of steel.

GSSF was designed for outdoor ranges. Fragments of lead or jacket coming off steel play hell with the lights on indoor ranges.  For indoor shooting, the GSSF folks came up with their gallery match, which of course can be shot outdoors too.  You only get one target at a time to shoot at, and it’s in five- and ten-shot sequences at fixed time.

The Princess and I were planning to shoot one of those, the last of the season, not far from where we live.  Unfortunately, something came up and we couldn’t make it.  I had been psyched up to shoot the darn thing, and E.P. came up with the idea to just shoot it for fun on our range, video it, and make a tutorial out of it.

So, we did.  I blew a shot, dammit, but such is life.  Give it a try; you can shoot it on most any indoor or outdoor range and see how you stack up. You only have to use a Glock pistol if you’re at an official Glock match.

Video follows, run time about twelve minutes. For info go to www.gssfonline.com.  There might just be a GSSF Indoor League shooting near you already, and most anyplace in the continental US, you can find a regular GSSF match within a day’s drive.  Lots of fun, and very friendly to newcomers to competitive shooting.

Massad Ayoob

NRAAM 2017, AND TWO PARTICULAR HIGHLIGHTS

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

The Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta will be the site of NRAAM, the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting (and Exhibit), April 27-30.  You don’t have to be there every day, and since the dates encompass the weekend, feel free to bring your kids. If you’re an NRA member, it’s free!

There will be inspirational speakers.  There will be almost every gun, ammo, and accessory manufacturer there with their latest wares.  Unlike the SHOT Show, which is an industry trade show open only who those who work in said industry and are at SHOT to sell product and take orders, at NRAAM the companies send their engineers and new product people. They love to mingle with end-user shooter folk and talk guns.  It’s a much friendlier and more relaxed atmosphere. That’s one reason I try to go every year. Something else you see at NRAAM much more than at SHOT: some of the all-time world’s greatest gun collections on display, with the collectors themselves there where you can pick their brains.

For me, the highlight of the event is the annual Firearms Law Seminar, which will be all day Friday the 28th. I don’t say that just because I’m one of the speakers again this year.  I’ll only be at the podium for 45 minutes or an hour late morning, but I’ll be there from 8 AM to closing to soak up all I can from the heavy hitters who comprise the rest of the speakers’ list.

Program is here.  Overview is here. You can scroll down the biographies of the speakers here.

When living legends of the gun owners’ civil rights movement like Stephen Halbrook are going to be talking, any serious advocate for the Second Amendment advocate knows it’s smart to be there to listen!

Unlike the NRA Annual Meeting itself, they charge for the legal seminar. (What can I say? There are lawyers involved…) Ticket info is here.  Attorneys get CLE (Continuing Legal Education) credit.

However, there’s going to be another HU-U-UGE highlight this year: President Trump is going to address in person the NRA members who worked so hard to get him elected over Hillary Clinton.

Sadly, he is scheduled to speak the same day as the legal seminar. One effect of this is, since it will drain many attendees from the legal seminar, those doing the legal seminar might just be in a mood to dicker about the entry/tuition fee. If you are interested, you’ll have to bypass website registration and email seminar coordinator Sarah Gervase at sgervase@nrahq.org.

If the legal stuff isn’t up your alley, I still hope to see you at NRAAM. Over the weekend, I’ll be hanging out at the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network booth noon to 2:00 PM each day.

And if you can’t make it, we’ll be reporting on it here.

Massad Ayoob

WHAT MIGHT HAVE SPARED THE TAO OF DR. DAO

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Unless you’ve been hiding from North Korean nukes incommunicado for the last few days, you’ve seen the viral video of Dr. David Dao being dragged stunned and bleeding off a United Airlines flight out of Chicago.  It seems that the plane was full and United needed to ferry four crew members to another upcoming flight out of Dr. Dao’s destination airport.  When the airline didn’t offer enough incentive for four volunteers to disembark and fly later, they arbitrarily picked four people to kick off the aircraft so they could take their seats. Three departed obediently. The physician did not, and physical violence ensues that will be an example of bad customer relations for all time.

In Chinese philosophy, “tao” has been defined as “a way, or code of behavior, that is in harmony with the natural order.”  Bloodying and physically removing a customer from a seat he has paid for is certainly not the natural order of things, even with us frequent fliers who have tales of airport frustration to tell.

Much dialogue (and many amusing memes) have ensued.  However, the most cogent commentary comes from one of the sharpest minds I’ve ever encountered in a lifetime spent in the criminal justice system, that of appellate lawyer Karl Erich Martell.  He recently wrote:

 My very first thought when I heard this story was about the economics of it, but also the psychology. I immediately remembered the book Freakonomics and thought, “If only the gate agents had presented their offer in terms of the number of people who would be inconvenienced should the flight crew not be able to be relocated.” Seriously, I think an appeal along these lines would have worked:

“Ladies and gentlemen: I need your help. I know that it’s very important that all of you get to your destinations on time, but I’d like for you to listen to our quandary and see if you’d consider helping. We have a flight crew that needs to get to Louisville right away or else their plane cannot go out. None of the people on their plane will get to their destination. I know your trip is important, but I’d like to ask you to please consider the possibility that there might be someone on the Louisville plane that has a trip that may be even more important. Maybe someone is traveling to see her dying mother and this is her last chance to see her alive. I can’t say. But I can tell you that we would be so, so grateful if you’d consider giving up your seat for one of these crew members so they will be able to fly that entire plane of passengers to their destination. And I wouldn’t ask you to do it for nothing: we will fly you to your destination tomorrow. We will pay for your hotel overnight and meals. And because we’d be so grateful, we’d like to give you $800 cash to thank you for your kindness in helping us, and helping that whole planeload of passengers.”
I’m telling you, a little applied psychology, and they would have had ten volunteers. Alas, I wasn’t the gate agent.

Here’s an economist’s blog posting on the subject – and his take on why it wouldn’t have made sense to offer more.

Me, I don’t think it would have hurt to do that before sending in the (police), but I think they could have easily gotten all the volunteers they wanted for $800 if they’d just asked the right way. People are empathetic and want to help.

To what Erich just said there, I can only say, “Amen.”  Ya think that might have been more in line with “a code of behavior that is in keeping with the natural order”?

 
 
 
 
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