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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 ‘Politics’ Category

Massad Ayoob


Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Our friend Dave Workman, now blogging from a new source, compares the Republican and Democrat platforms on guns.

One is reminded of the quote attributed to Ronald Reagan: “I didn’t leave the Democratic party, the Democratic party left me.

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


Sunday, May 1st, 2016

As the most bizarre Presidential campaign of my relatively long life continues, I find myself longing for the elusive Ideal Candidate.

If you’ve been reading this blog for enough years, you know my ideal candidate is Condi Rice. She was a vastly better Secretary of State than Hillary Clinton.  Dr. Rice is a self-made success: brilliant, indomitable in debate, respected throughout the world, embodies gravitas, and not incidentally is a strong supporter of individual Second Amendment rights.

I’m not the only one who thinks so.  See this, from Michael Gerson in the Washington Post.

Who thinks it’s time for a Draft Condi movement?

Massad Ayoob

Part 6: An Explanation

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

From the beginning of this blog, I’ve made one entry at a time.  A confluence of scheduling circumstances in coming days demands that if I’m going to get the whole promised series on the PERF recommendations for new police use of force guidelines presented here in a timely manner, I have to dump them all at once.

You will find them immediately below.

Have at it, folks.  Your comments are welcome.

And, please, read the comments from other viewers. In my “day jobs,” I’ve found truth in the old lawyers’ saying that “In the Halls of Justice, most of the justice is in the halls.”  I’ve likewise found that in the halls of training, much of the training is in the halls.  I’ve been to courses where I learned more from the other students than from the designated instructors.

Similarly, in the “bogs of blogs” some of the best learning and discussion points are found in the reader commentary.

Do not lose sight of the fact that if unrealistic expectations are morphed into police use of force standards, we can expect the same unrealistic demands to be made on armed citizens protecting themselves and their loved ones.

Oh, and did I mention that all opinions I’ve expressed here are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect the policies of any organization, agency, or entity I have served with past or present?

Massad Ayoob

Part 5: The PERF-etrators

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

When I first saw the Police Executive Research Forum’s “30 Guiding Principles” in their “Use of Force: Taking Policing to a Higher Standard,” I showed it to my significant other. She’s not LE herself, but hangs out with enough law enforcement personnel to have a good idea how things work. After reading it, she shook her head sadly and said, “Who PERF-etrated this?”

The answer, according to PERF itself, is “Approximately 200 police chiefs and other police officials from various ranks, along with federal officials, academics, and mental health experts.” How significant that one category is missing from that mix: police instructors in the law and practice of judicious use of force. IALEFI, the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors and ILEETA, the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, would undoubtedly have been happy to help research and explain things, Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that either was contacted.

I thought the single most egregious of their 30 points was Policy 3: “Police use of force must meet the test of proportionality.” (Emphasis PERF’s.) That sounds reasonable enough until you read the fine print: “In assessing whether a response is proportional, officers must ask themselves, ‘How would the general public view the action we took? Would they think it was appropriate to the entire situation and to the severity of the threat posed to me or to the public?’”

What? What? Should life or death decision guidelines be made by people with hashtag agendas who can’t seem to distinguish murder from justifiable homicide? The sort of people who create “hands up, don’t shoot” memes when hands weren’t up and “don’t shoot” wasn’t uttered? People who expect cops to risk fatal stab wounds (to themselves, and to others) because someone who doesn’t understand weapons doesn’t realize that within its range a knife can be as or more deadly than a police duty gun?  We don’t let cultists and faith healers determine medical treatment protocols.  We shouldn’t let people who replace scientifically-determined reality with fantasized memes be the arbiters of justifiable protective use of force.

IACP (the International Association of Chiefs of Police, i.e., “management”) and FOP (the Fraternal Order of Police, i.e., “labor”) have taken the unprecedented step of joining together to refute and challenge the PERF guidelines.  There is a clue, there.

An organization that calls itself a “research forum” should, one would think, put forth some research.  The PERF 30 document under discussion contains exactly one footnote…citing another PERF paper.   Instead, the report speaks glowingly of Scottish police training to deal with knife-wielders without deploying firearms, ignoring the facts that (A) the desperate constables have to do it that way because the vast majority are not allowed to carry firearms, and (B) their training explains to them at the outset that they can expect to be slashed or stabbed while trying to subdue blade-wielders without using guns.

Instead of letting the misperceptions of the uninformed (or agenda-motivated) elements of the public become the landmark for guidelines, PERF might have found room for one more recommended policy: Educating that public on the realities of police use of force. Sadly, that much needed element appears to be totally lacking from their recommendations.

As I close, let me state again that all the opinions I have expressed on this topic are my personal opinions, not necessarily those of any agency or organization which I serve.



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