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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, April 23rd, 2015

In Chicago a few days ago, an armed citizen not only stopped a murder attempt, but it appears, may have also prevented a mass murder.

Coincidentally, I happened to be in Chicagoland when it happened.  As you might imagine, advocates of the right to self-protection are smiling rather smugly.  Being one of them, so am I, all the more so because of my long service on the board of trustees of the Second Amendment Foundation, which funded the landmark US Supreme Court case of McDonald, et. al. v. Chicago, which paved the way for concealed carry permits for law-abiding citizens in Illinois.

More details on that aspect here, from my old friend and Second Amendment advocate Dave Workman.

What brought me to Chicago in the first place this trip was the largest conference of police instructors in the world, the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, in Wheeling.  This coming Friday morning, I’ll be on a “train the trainers” panel chaired by Don Alwes, whose topic is dealing with mass murder attempts in progress.  The shooting mentioned above has already been discussed at this seminar, with much the same approval as is being seen from the law-abiding armed citizenry.  It promises to be an interesting discussion.

By the way, as is usual in seminars that cater to actual working cops, the National Rifle Association had a booth showcasing their current and long-lasting support of police training, and the anti-gunners were conspicuous by their absence…

Massad Ayoob


Sunday, April 19th, 2015

Last Friday I grabbed lunch at Booby’s restaurant in Niles, Illinois.  Niles is right next to Park Ridge, where Hillary Rodham Clinton grew up, and it has been said that Booby’s was one of her favorite hangouts in her younger days.  No argument here: food and service were excellent. Booby's

Booby’s is a place for ordinary neighborhood folks to eat.  As Mrs. Clinton, who for decades has surrounded herself with exemplars of wealth and power, attempts to reinvent herself as a champion of the middle class, her contact with mainstream Americans doesn’t seem to go a whole lot farther than having eaten at Booby’s.

Mrs. Clinton, quite possibly the most anti-gun Presidential candidate in memory, is traveling the country in a van she calls “Scooby,” whimsically named after the Scooby-doo cartoon.  I for one see more irony than whimsy.  As I understood it, most every episode of Scooby-doo involved someone pretending to be magical, fantastic, and marvelous, only to be revealed as a villainous fraud portraying themselves for their own benefit to be something they were not.

What would Scooby say? Probably, “Ruh-ro.”

As Oscar Wilde once said, “Life imitates Art more than Art imitates Life.”

Massad Ayoob


Sunday, April 12th, 2015

The National Rifle Association Annual Meeting saw streets in Nashville closed for the NRA’s massive country music street festival as hordes teemed through the Music City convention center.  The Evil Princess was at the Moms Demand Action anti-gun protest on Saturday, and noted that the predicted turnout of 400 appeared to be a lot smaller than that. She observed several of our NRA people there at one point, having cordial discussions with some of the Moms. Our friend Miggy Gonzalez channels Bob Owens and applies his own take on it, here: .

The newspapers are estimating 70,000 NRA members in attendance, by contrast.  When I attended the NRA’s annual Firearms Law Session, a small “break-out session” by NRA standards, there were some 310 attending.

Our side has the numbers.

The meeting continues Sunday.


Overview of the “Crowd” of Demanding Moms


Below: Some of the NRAAM attendees engage the “Moms” in “reasoned discourse.”


Moms Demand


Massad Ayoob


Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

What does Shannon Watts, mouthpiece for the Bloomberg anti-gun front group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, have in common with the New York Daily News?  They both recently told the world that the National Rifle Association is a bunch of hypocrites because they want their members to be able to carry on the streets, but won’t let them pack heat at their own annual conference later this week in Nashville, TN.

Uh…wrong.  One venue for some of the festivities is posted against concealed carry – the venue’s choice, not NRA’s – but the main convention will find attendees welcome to carry if they may legally do so.  Details here, from the ever diligent Dave Workman: .

Speaking of Ms. Watts, last year she held a tiny “counter-demonstration” to oppose the NRA being in her home town, which in 2014 was Indianapolis.  Significant Other and I went over to see it, and found that the Bloomberg folks had had to bus in people.  They also had Ms. Watts surrounded with armed bodyguards of Men In Black motif.  We outed them here and elsewhere.

Ms. Watts has announced that she’ll have another counter-demo in Nashville this weekend, but the location has not yet been announced. Perhaps it’s “by invitation to bused-in Bloomberg minions only.”  Or maybe they’re wondering whether or not to have it in a gun-free park…and how it will affect their armed bodyguards if they do.

And they call us hypocrites…


Massad Ayoob


Monday, March 16th, 2015

The last entry here, on “in your face” open carry versus concealed carry or discreet open carry, caught interest with a three-digit comment count.  I also raised some new issues I hadn’t discussed here previously.

Basic truth, folks: economic rhetoric has never fed the hungry, and Second Amendment rhetoric has never armed the helpless.

The gains the gun owners’ civil rights movement have made can be attributed to decades of legal scholarship, working within the system, and reforming anti-gun laws which largely trace back to anti-black bias in the antebellum and Reconstruction-era south, anti-immigrant bias in the industrialized north, and culture war at multiple levels.

Gun-banners will never convert most who read this blog, and we who support a responsibly armed citizenry will never win over the Pelosis and Bloombergs of the world. The battleground lies with the vast majority of people who are in the middle on this polarized issue.  I am old enough to remember when Massachusetts and California each held a referendum on whether possession of handguns should be banned in their states.  Neither state had a majority of gun owners in the voting pool, but in each case our side won the referendum, because “the people on the fence” didn’t want to go that far.

Doing things that alarm those people in the middle will do nothing to help the pro-gun side.  Fear is the key ingredient that creates hatred.  Doing things that put the general public in fear will cause more people to hate us, and anyone who seriously thinks flaunting rifles around schools in cities and suburbs will somehow acclimate the public to an acceptance of armed citizens is simply delusional.

Please, don’t compare the heavily armed guy who video-records himself confronting police to Rosa Parks on a segregated bus. Ms. Parks did not put anyone in fear of their lives. Don’t tell me that “a right not exercised is a right denied,” when we’ve seen confrontational open carry result in stricter laws in California, and hamper the responsible open carry movement in Texas much more recently.

This blog post, like the most recent one, grew from a fellow prancing around a school with a visible rifle and handgun.  Even gun experts will tell you that handguns are carried holstered, in case they’re needed for a life-threatening emergency, while long guns are traditionally carried only when their immediate use is anticipated. For us, that’s hunting, response to an already identified emergency (think “Rodney King riots”), or a target shooting range.  To the general public, that image instantly calls to mind Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Newtown.  When an otherwise obviously smart and articulate poster says the officer confronting such a person with hand on service pistol is the one being provocative, I can only say “Wow…just…wow.”

Some open carry advocates hope for test cases to go to courts and validate their cause. I wouldn’t be betting on that outcome. When someone’s behavior is sufficiently frightening that the school in question goes to lockdown, I don’t expect the courts to say that’s just fine.  Depending on the jurisdiction, the mood of the court, and the mood of the prosecution, some of the cards on the table may include “disturbing the peace,” “trespass after warning,” and “going armed to the terror of the public.”

But, the people who want to traipse around schools with visible military rifles and camcorders will have had their fifteen minutes of YouTube “fame.”

On this discussion thread, a poster by the username of “usagi” said it better than I: “Open carry of long guns to advocate for 2A rights is exactly the same as blowing smoke directly in people’s faces for smoker’s rights.”



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