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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 ‘Legal Issues’ Category

Massad Ayoob


Friday, February 10th, 2017

Some folks inside the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives seem to think the way a lot of us do.

Please take the time to read this

… and share your thoughts on it here.

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


Thursday, July 7th, 2016

It has long been known that a large majority of mass murders in public take place in “gun-free zones,” where it is unlikely that any of the potential victims will be armed and capable of returning fire.

The Bloomberg faction of the gun prohibitionist movement has taken exception to this. They conflate gangs shooting members of other gangs on the street with mass murders in public.  They treat the psycho who murders multiple family members in a home as equivalent to the mass murder of random strangers in public. If the mass murderer strikes in a place where the whole community is a de facto gun-free zone, they figure it doesn’t count because a judge, movie star, or Bloomberg bodyguard with a carry permit impossible for ordinary citizens to acquire might have been there.

Here, a masterful counterpoint to that and a clear picture of the reality, from our friend Professor John Lott at the Crime Prevention Research Center.


Massad Ayoob

Part II: Where PERF Was PERF-ect

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

As I said in the last entry (found immediately below this one), the Police Executive Research Forum had a lot of things right in its recent controversial 30-point list of suggest use of force policies.  Let’s start, then, with the Good parts. For those who didn’t catch it in the last installment, it can be found here.

One of those recommendations, Policy 11, makes me want to dance in the streets. “To build understanding and trust, agencies should issue regular reports to the public on use of force.” (Emphasis PERF’s.)

I’m happy to hear them say that because it’s something I, and others, have been recommending for decades. If police administrators ignore us on this, perhaps they’ll listen to PERF.  For too long, the old ethos has been, “We don’t try our cases in the press. The facts will all come out in court.”  However, when police are falsely accused of brutality, this silence is seen as a plea of nolo contendere by the public we serve. False memes like “hands up, don’t shoot” now become common currency, and go unchallenged, and come to be believed by a public which has not seen the evidence that contradicts the false accusation.

I am also in agreement with their policies numbered 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, 27, 29, and 30.

Yes, we believe in the sanctity of life. Documenting use of force incidents? Check. Training academy culture in line with agency values? Check. De-escalation encouraged, and the other points enumerated in the immediate preceding paragraph?  Fine.

Only trouble is…we’ve been doing these things and ascribing to these values right along. The wording of the PERF report condescendingly implying that these concepts would be new to policing is nothing less than insulting to rank and file American law enforcement.

            We said in the previous installment that we’ll discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly here.  Now that we’ve acknowledged the Good, we’ll examine the Bad and the Ugly in the installments coming up next.

Massad Ayoob


Monday, March 7th, 2016

With our fifty-state patchwork quilt of gun laws, it’s often difficult to know where the armed citizen is legal, and where he or she is not.  I constantly check what I consider to be the most up to date sources, on the net and the app “Legal Heat.”

If you’re a citizen frustrated by this, you may be comforted to know that off-duty and retired law enforcement officers run into the same sort of issues. When in San Diego last Wednesday, I ran across this in that city’s Union-Tribune newspaper.

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