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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.

Archive for the ‘Firearm Owner’s Civil Rights’ Category

Massad Ayoob


Monday, October 31st, 2016

Well, about the scariest thing I’ve seen so far this October 31 is this, shamelessly taken from my friend Miggy Gonzales’ blog at

Drive carefully out there amongst the trick-or-treating rug rats.

I’ve been asked why this blog has been on politics more than guns, and will be until the election. The answer is simply that if the politics go wrong, we’re gonna start losing our right to own and use the guns at a rapid rate.

Over this past month, I can point to about 125 good reasons to fight hard to keep those rights. 24 students trained in a MAG-40 class hosted by the Reichard family in Indiana. 38 deadly force instructors certified by me and Marty Hayes in a forty hour course sponsored by Dave Maglio in Wisconsin. Another 31 at our Michigan MAG-40 hosted by Art Joslin, and 32 at the one we just finished in Florida under the auspices of Herman Gunter, III.

Those 125 people are the tip of the iceberg of the armed citizens the Democratic Presidential nominee has bluntly stated she doesn’t want to own AR15s, or magazines that hold more than ten cartridges. She has stated that she agrees with one of the Supreme Court justices who dissented in the decision that affirmed the Second Amendment as an individual right; that justice recently stated that he doesn’t think the 2A means you can keep a rifle by your bed.

We ALL need to do everything we can to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House, and those who parrot her out of the House and Senate. It won’t be over ‘til it’s over, and there are increasing signs it may not be over even after the election is tallied up.



Indiana MAG-40 class


Wisconsin Deadly Force Instructor class


Michigan MAG-40 class


Florida MAG-40 class


Florida MAG-40 class, with staff range officers/coaches behind the students on the firing line.


Massad Ayoob


Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Each year, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and the Second Amendment Foundation sponsor the Gun Rights Policy Conference.  It takes place this week in Tampa.  If you can get there, attendance is free.

Hope to see you there.


Or click here to view.

Massad Ayoob


Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Why am I concerned with the prospect of Hillary Rodham Clinton as President of the United States? Let me begin to count the reasons.

For many years I have been a sworn police officer. Mrs. Clinton’s dislike of police has long been a matter of record. From her contempt for the Arkansas troopers on her bodyguard detail when her husband was governor of that state, to the disdain with which she treated Secret Service when she was in the White House, to her campaign’s recent announcement that it was not interested in an endorsement by the Fraternal Order of Police, it is clear that Mrs. Clinton is no friend or supporter of law enforcement.

For many years I have been an expert witness in weapons and homicide cases, on both the criminal and civil justice sides of the house. Even-handed fairness is the very essence of justice. Go back to her earliest professional days, when her ethics were questioned during the Watergate matter. Go back to the case where her ethics came into question in her defense of a child molester.  As we look at the questionable contact more recently between her husband and the Attorney General immediately before the AG abjured from deciding on Mrs. Clinton’s prosecution in the email matter, we wonder about even-handed fairness by a potential President whose appointments to the US Supreme Court will determine the tenor of that body for the next generation or two.

For many years I have been a life member of the NRA, and a responsible gun owner and firearms instructor. When a candidate compares groups you belong to – and thus, by extension, you – to terrorists, you start getting nervous.

We live in a time when there is strong sentiment to put suspected real terrorists on lists such as the no-fly list and the no-gun list. A candidate conflating law-abiding Americans with terrorists is unacceptable. It is not surprising that some American gun owners watch the rise of Hillary Clinton and feel like German Jews witnessing the ascendance of Adolf Hitler. (And, before anyone invokes Godwin’s Law, I invoke Ayoob’s Corollary to Godwin’s Law: If you don’t want to be compared to Nazis, don’t act like one.)

Your thought and comments are welcome here.

Massad Ayoob


Saturday, August 6th, 2016

“Children die from gunfire. They can only be saved by removing guns from society, and you gun people are all savages and selfish bastards if you won’t give up your guns to save JUST ONE CHILD’S LIFE!

Sigh.  Yes, that’s the kind of argument we get from the prohibitionists.

Let’s talk.

It is generally accepted that a far greater number of tragic, accidental deaths of children are due to drownings, often in private swimming pools or even hot tubs, than to unintentional gunfire. Let’s explore that.  See: , and also

If you want to save the children, why not become an activist for banning private ownership of swimming pools and hot tubs?  After all, there is nothing in the Bill of Rights that guarantees the right to own such things, the way there is with firearms.  You could play the Bloomberg Card and change the terminology to fit your narrative. “Oh,” you could say, “we just want to regulate your swimming pool.  We’ll start by demanding twenty-foot-high fencing, nuclear facility grade if you please, around the pool property.  And of course, require 24/7 lifeguards.”  Michael Bloomberg could afford that, just as he can afford his large, heavily armed contingent of round-the-clock bodyguards.  Ordinary folks can’t afford that?  Too bad.  There you go being selfish bastards again, instead of thinking of those poor children!

Of course, all those nice, law-abiding citizens whose hard-earned pools you might want to brick over will say, “But – but – we didn’t install that pool to kill anybody!” Well, guess what, law-abiding gun owners didn’t spend their hard-earned dollars at the gun shop so they could kill people, either, or American sidewalks would be littered with corpses.

“But, pools are beneficial to society. They relax people. And there are all kinds of healthful benefits from swimming, and exercises physically challenged people can do best in pools.” True. And guns are hugely popular in sporting applications, from target shooting to harvesting meat from the hunting field.  And marksmanship is one of the few sports at which some physically challenged people can compete and win on equal ground with the able-bodied. More than once, the handgunner in the wheelchair has been overall top shot in my classes.

And, as statistics show to those who simply open their eyes and minds, guns save a huge number of innocent lives and prevent a great many serious crimes.

All of which is why banning guns, or restricting them to the rich and privileged, makes no more sense than doing the same with hot tubs and swimming pools.

Massad Ayoob


Sunday, July 31st, 2016

Sorry to be away from the blog longer than usual. It was a busy week, and frankly, a busy month.  I spent last week teaching an advanced 40-hour MAG-80 class at Firearms Academy of Seattle. The prior three weeks had encompassed MAG-40 classes, also 40 hours each, in Colorado hosted by Hershell and Denise Phillips, Alaska hosted by Todd and Tammy Smith, and at FAS hosted by Marty and Gila Hayes. Many thanks to them and the great range safety/coaching crews they put on the firing line.

There was no time to comment on what else was happening in our world, and there was much.

With no advance warning (and, apparently, no input from the affected industry) our President issued an Executive Order that could have a profound, business-killing impact on the most vulnerable corner of the firearms industry. Read that and tell me how it’s going to reduce crime or man’s inhumanity to man on a larger scale, or be anything but a mean-spirited slap in the face of the firearms industry and the law abiding people who buy that industry’s products.

In Baltimore, after trials of three of the six officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray resulted in one hung jury and acquittals on the rest, the prosecutors decided to drop the pending cases. How coincidental that this decision came right after a judge announced that defense lawyers for the accused cops would be able to cross examine prosecutors about issues in the matter, such as the prosecutors’ failure to furnish exculpatory evidence to the defense.

Ya know, if this was an online class in Ethics 101 instead of the firearms blog at Backwoods Home, we could get some interesting learning points out of this.  Had the decision-making district attorney said “OK, so maybe we shouldn’t have thrown cops under the bus without evidence to placate rioters and uninformed crowds,” I would have to give such reasoning a thumbs up for being ethical in the here and now as opposed to when the decision to bring those cases was made.

Or if District Attorney Marilyn Mosby had even said, “Hey, I personally think those cops did wrong and should be prosecuted, but after failing to gain a conviction three times out of three, I have to consider my fiduciary duty to the public as an elected official not to waste the taxpayers’ dollars on cases unsupported by facts in evidence, so I’m dropping the charges,” well, I’d have had to judge that action with that motivation as being within ethical parameters.

But if this blog was an online ethics class, I’d have to say:

“Class, your optional assignment is to write an essay on the theme of, If You Do The Right Thing For The Wrong Reason, Have You Still Really Done the Right Thing?”


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