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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


Saturday, August 1st, 2015

Does the other side really want “reasonable, common sense gun control”?


Remember Nancy Pelosi saying that if she could have, she would have said “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in,” or words to that effect?  That intent still exists beneath the relatively transparent surface of the usually more disingenuous gun prohibitionist movement.

We offer as evidence, Professor Alan Dershowitz.

Now, “to give the devil his due,” I’ve had some good things to say about Professor Dershowitz in public, and I’m happy to repeat them here.  I’ve heard lawyers criticize him for using his law students to do his research for cases he was getting paid for, and I defended him for that: he was giving those students priceless real-world on-the-job training in high profile cases, and reducing the legal research costs for the defendants in the bargain.  His comments why the prosecution of George Zimmerman, and the manner thereof, constituted an outrage were outrage were in my opinion spot on, and I said so…in this space, and elsewhere.

However, there are some points where I profoundly and vehemently disagree with the professor. One of those was his assertion that police are taught to lie on the witness stand – to “testi-lie” – in the police academy.  Having more time by far in police training than he has, I call BS on that.

And then, of course, there is Dershowitz’ radical position on “gun control.”

On the opposing side is an old friend of mine, Richard Feldman, Esq.  Watch it yourself. Feel free to comment here as to who won the “reality check.”

The Hard Line | Alan Dershowitz and Richard Feldman discuss proposed gun-free zones

Or see it here:




Massad Ayoob


Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

There has been a lot of talk lately about self-defense shootings of black suspects by white people being treated differently than if it had been a white person harmed by an African-American.  The perception is nothing new. I recently had occasion, for another reason, to review a story about one of my cases that I had written in the late 1990s. The following is an excerpt from my assessment of a trial I had participated in a year before.

The quote: Johnny Cochran, NAACP-coordinated picketing, a white versus black thing. I hate it when that happens. I worry about it sometimes, but probably more than I should.

            Cross-racial shootings bring the same concerns whether I’m speaking for white good guy who shot black bad guy, or vice versa, both of which I’ve done several times.

            A little more than six months before this trial, I testified for a black man charged with first degree murder and standing before an all-white jury after he had shot a white man in self-defense. That jury found him not guilty, and did so during the O.J. Simpson civil trial in the courtroom next door to where the Simpson case was being adjudicated. Justice was served.

            This time, I spoke for a white man charged with first degree murder and standing before a largely black jury after he had shot a black man in self-defense. I knew how much pressure there had to be on the black jurors, and knew what they’d face if they acquitted and went home to a community that had heard Johnny Cochran and the media say that (defendant) Hubbard had killed a black man for no good reason.

            The jury was out for about an hour and 40 minutes before they returned their verdict and found Blake Hubbard not guilty. One juror said later that they’d reached the acquittal verdict unanimously during their first five minutes of deliberation.

Call me a starry-eyed optimist if you will, but my opinion hasn’t changed in the 17 years since I wrote that.  I’ve learned to trust the jury.  Get the facts in front of them, and they’ll do the right thing, the forces of media bias and hate-mongering notwithstanding.

Massad Ayoob


Saturday, July 18th, 2015

After yet another vicious, cowardly, murderous assault that has left five American service personnel dead on American soil, someone has finally insisted on an appropriate response. After the recent atrocity at the Marine recruiting office in Chattanooga, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has ordered full time National Guardsmen in his state to be armed on duty. .

Asa Hutchinson, we recall, was the man named to head the NRA School Shield program to put armed security in our nation’s schools in the wake of the horror at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.  He is a man who understands the logical truth: the only way to stop mad dog mass killers is to do what we would do with any other mad dog.

“Big Army” may be reviewing something similar, though apparently more hesitantly:|bon|dl2|sec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D1496193374 .

According to the Associated Press, “A day after a gunman shot and killed four Marines and wounded three other people in Chattanooga, Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, told reporters that arming troops in those offices could cause more problems than it might solve. ‘I think we have to be careful about over-arming ourselves, and I’m not talking about where you end up attacking each other,’ Odierno said during a morning breakfast. Instead, he said, it’s more about “accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having weapons that are loaded that causes injuries.”

“We’re always going to be somewhat vulnerable to a lone wolf, or whatever you want to call it, a surprise shooter, because we are out there with the population and that’s where we have to be,” added the Chief of Staff.

Kudos to Governor Hutchinson for decisively doing what is obviously the right thing.  I sincerely hope it starts a trend.

In the meantime, that picture of the bullet-riddled window of the recruiting office in Chattanooga – replete with its “no guns” sign – stands as stark proof of the fact that “gun free zones” are simply hunting preserves for mass murderers.

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.”



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