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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


Monday, November 16th, 2015

The six-day Legal Eagles seminar continued on Sunday with a powerful all-day presentation by attorney Mitch Vilos, author of “Self-Defense Laws of All Fifty States.” Mitch specializes in firearms law and has done a hundred or more such cases himself as trial lawyer, and has studied hundreds more such cases for research.  He has discovered the epiphany almost every attorney experiences in the courtroom:  law school teaches you the law, not trial tactics.  The latter is something that is learned on the job, or in specialized in-service training known as CLE (continuing legal education).M_Vilos

Mitch is smart, he’s funny (in a good way), and he’s a voice of experience. He pointed out that the defenses-with-firearms which seem to cause the least trouble to the good person with the gun are those involving home defense, interdiction of mass murder, and fighting off armed robbers.  The least defensible are those in which the defendant might be seen as “the initial aggressor,” or those in which the defendant was doing something illegal at the time of the incident.

Some of those epiphanies are counter-intuitive. Mitch, like veteran defense lawyer Jim Fleming who spoke the day before him, has found that cops make wonderfully favorable jurors in self-defense shooting cases.  And that’s just the tiniest sample of the experiential wisdom for which the dozens of attendees are paying a well-spent $3,000 over the course of this six-day seminar. It wouldn’t be right for me to give it all away here.

Let me share another bit of Mitch Vilos’ wisdom. I am not exactly the world’s biggest fan of pastel pistolas. However, Mitch revealed that his current concealed carry pistol in his stomping grounds of Salt Lake City is a purple-color SIG-Sauer.  Mitch, like others of us in this business, has seen more than one case where someone has claimed the defendant pulled a gun on him when he didn’t.  Mitch likes the idea of being able to say to the investigating officer, “Ask the complainant what color the gun was that he says I pulled on him.”  If the liar doesn’t say “purple,” Mitch has a strong reinforcement of the truth that the guy never saw a gun at all and is making up a story.

Damn…live and learn.  That’s the first good reason I’ve come across for carrying a handgun of a non-traditional color.  And learning, of course, is what I came for.

Massad Ayoob


Sunday, November 15th, 2015

On a sad Saturday when the latest Democrat debates saw the Presidential hopefuls trying to outdo each other to see who could be the most anti-gun (and in which Bernie Sanders seemed to blame terrorism on climate change), dozens of serious gun owners and firearms instructors were facing reality as the Legal Eagles firearms law seminar continued in Washington.

Much of that reality is counter-intuitive.  For instance, criminal defense lawyers are taught all the way back to law school to never allow a past or present cop to be on the jury that judges one of their clients. After all, wouldn’t a guy or gal who has spent a career making drug busts and arresting drunk drivers be predisposed to convict a defendant facing such charges?Jim_Fleming

Jim Fleming, a cop for the first ten years of his career in the criminal justice system and a defense attorney for the last three decades plus, explained why he loves to have cops on juries in self-defense trials.  Of all the people in the jury pool, who will better understand the defendant’s perspective better than someone who straps on a gun when going to work every day, because they may face the very same murderous dirtbag the defendant was forced to shoot in self-defense?

I’ve taught CLE (continuing legal education) courses with Jim on managing the self-defense case, under the auspices of ACLDN, the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network.  To sample Jim’s experience and wisdom, read the book about one of his most famous cases (“The Bison King,” available from Amazon)  and particularly his book on handling self-defense situations, “Aftermath.”.  If Jim Fleming’s “Aftermath” wasn’t a damn good book, I damn sure wouldn’t have written the foreword.

Massad Ayoob


Saturday, November 14th, 2015

While terrorists slaughtered helpless unarmed citizens unable to fight back in Paris, armed Americans on the West Coast listened to trainer of instructors Marty Hayes, completing his lecture program begun the day before.  Then, they heard from a series of survivors.

There was Bob, the jeweler who when a masked thug from Compton burst into his store screaming profane commands and waving a Glock .40 responded by drawing his own Kimber .45 and putting a 230 grain jacketed hollow point into the thug’s chest, fatally ending the encounter. Bob’s description of this incident, along with links to the security camera recording of the shootout, can be found at   There was John, who used his skills in combatives to keep a fellow vet with PTSD from snatching John’s gun to commit suicide and end his despair.  There was Sherry, who when she was 18 and unarmed endured along with a friend a nightmare ordeal at the hands of an armed rapist.  Miraculously and courageously surviving that, she now walks the path of the armed citizen.

And, capping the day, there was George Zimmerman.9A7A4715

He went through his notorious incident in detail, clarifying many of the points that became confused in the media propaganda blitz that followed. I learned something I hadn’t been aware of until now.

If you read my take on Zimmerman’s trial (here in the blog archives beginning on the day of his acquittal, July 13, 2013 and running for a total of twenty segments), you saw how Benjamin Crump – the attorney for the family of the deceased Trayvon Martin – manipulated the media. I did not know at that time that when Crump won an earlier multi-million dollar lawsuit in the state of Florida, he had received assistance from then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama.  In return, Zimmerman said, Crump had sent a very substantial donation to Obama’s campaign for President.

Hmm.  And then came from President Obama: “If I had a son, he would have looked like Trayvon.”

Gosh, Mr. President…if Trayvon had wanted to date one of your daughters, and you had Secret Service check him out first, would you have allowed that date to take place?

The Legal Eagles conference on firearms law, hosted by JB and Glenda Herren, continues for four more days.

Massad Ayoob


Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Remember when Bill Clinton told his fellow Democrats that their emphasis on anti-gun laws had cost them big time?  Apparently his wife wasn’t listening.  Neither was Michael Bloomberg, who poured millions into Virginia in hopes of defeating pro-gun candidates.  That doesn’t seem to have turned out too well for him in this week’s results.


See our friend Miguel Gonzalez’ take on it, here.  And TTAG (The Truth About Guns) had this to say and this.

Massad Ayoob


Sunday, October 18th, 2015

In the past, we’ve had “Holocaust deniers.”  Now, in the latest wave of anti-gun hysteria, we have people denying reality on a related topic.

But we also have truth, fortunately, as seen here via Richie Feldman.



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