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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 ‘Preparedness’ Category

Massad Ayoob


Sunday, March 19th, 2017

In medicine, grave circumstances sometimes require toxin-anti-toxin therapy: poison against poison.  Chemotherapy may make a cancer patient feel sick in different ways, but it can save the patient’s life; therapeutic radiation may have ugly side-effects and therapeutic amputation literally costs you a part of your body, but if it takes the cancer away and saves your life, it’s an acceptable price.  Having to kill another human being is a traumatic experience, but if it saves your life and/or that of another good person, it was worth the ordeal.

That’s something well understood by Dr. Richard Carmona.  Under President George W. Bush, he served four years as Surgeon General of the United States.  Prior to that, though, he had overcome being born poor by joining the Army, becoming a Green Beret medic and gaining combat experience in Vietnam, and thereafter working his way through medical school.  He went on to become a pioneer of the SWAT physician concept: a doctor capable of performing emergency surgery if necessary right there at “the sharp end” to save a life when someone took a bullet.  Dr. Carmona performed that function for the Pima County Sheriff’s Office, headquartered in Tucson, Arizona.

It was in that city when, in 1999, he was off-duty and came upon a vicious psycho with a gun who was about to murder a woman he was carjacking. Unknown to Dr. Carmona, that man had earlier murdered his own father.  Carmona instantly drew his department issue Colt .45 auto, and saved the innocent woman’s life. In the course of that gunfight, he was wounded by the killer, but his own accurate gunfire killed the gunman.

I met Dr. Carmona early in this century, when he was Surgeon General and a guest speaker at an annual conference of ASLET, the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers. Many years later, I was able to sit down with him in Tucson and interview him.

That interview is now available for you to download for free at the ProArms Podcast.

I respectfully submit that what he has to say is very much worth the time it will take you to listen to it, and I herewith publicly thank Dr. Carmona yet again for making it available to you.

Massad Ayoob


Monday, February 20th, 2017

Evil Princess and I just got home from a long trip in time to catch the latest episode of “The Walking Dead.”  If I was to take this test question …


“’The Walking Dead’ is:

“A: A television fantasy.

“B: A documentary.

“C: A training film.”


…My answer would still be “A.”


But it’s always fun to look at it as “C.”  If a plague of zombies overtook society, what would we arm ourselves with?  I can tell you that the Darrel character, who tackles it for the most part with a crossbow, is a better man than me.  Something like a Ruger 10/22 semiautomatic rifle would have been my first thought: if you need brain shots to do the job anyway, the .22 seems logical: you can get reliable 25 to 50 round magazines for it and still have something light and handy for constant carry, and LOTS of those teeny little cartridges on your person.  But then you start thinking about how often .22 Long Rifle rounds have been known to ricochet off human skulls that haven’t been rotted soft, and the .22’s well known impotence against living bad guys…

We had several handguns with us in the vehicle, and because we had just shot a Glock match that finished up our two-class tour, a good bit left of the thousand-plus 9mm rounds and assorted .45 ACP, 10mm, and .380 ammo we’d started out with.  Would have been a good start.

But, just for the hell of it, if “Walking Dead” became “B: A documentary,” what would YOU arm yourself with?

Massad Ayoob


Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Hey, Coloradans – the Backwoods Home team is gonna be in Denver! Come and meet them at the  Self Reliance Expo at the National Western Complex in Denver this weekend, Nov 4-5.

At the BHM booth will be: Dave Duffy, Jeff Yago, Illustrator Don Childers and his wife Nancy, Jackie Clay, and Lenie Duffy. In this photo are, from left, Lenie, Dave, Don, and Nancy.


And: Last night, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series!  Since my significant other is a native Chicagoan as are many of my extended family, I get to bask in the reflective glow of their heartland happiness.

It has been over a century since the Cubs won the Series. With us coming down to the wire and Hillary Clinton reportedly still in the lead, the Cubs victory is a reassuring reminder that miracles happen.

Or watch video here.

Massad Ayoob


Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

In an effort to reduce the casualty count in mass murders, both the corporate world and the groves of academe have adopted the strategy called “Run-Hide-Fight”

Run: Get the heck outa Dodge as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop an active killer from murdering those who can’t run from him, and if you’re in his line of sight, you can’t outrun a bullet.

Hide: A locked, blacked out classroom may not offer a target, but the killer may be able to shoot his way through a locked door, as the monster did at Sandy Hook.  And it does nothing to stop the murderer from harming others.

Fight: This is usually presented as “throw books at the gunman or try to hit him with a stapler or something.”  It’s a bit like Polish horse cavalry charging German machine gun emplacements: a noble way to die in righteous cause, but shall we say, not the optimum strategy.

Kudos to Liberty University for taking a better approach.  Please take time to watch it to the end, and if you don’t have a whole eight minutes, start about four minutes into the training video:

Or Click Here for video.

The young man who sent me this is a student at both that school and mine.  I don’t want to expose him to the vitriol of anti-gun “progressives,” so I won’t mention his name here, but he certainly has my thanks. And so does Liberty University!

*Run, Hide, Fight is a registered Trademark cf the City of Houston, TX

Massad Ayoob


Saturday, September 10th, 2016

This blog will be posted on 9/11/16, the fifteenth anniversary of the atrocity that was to our generation what Pearl Harbor was to our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.  Pearl Harbor led to a long and terrible war, and a time of homeland deprivation and Victory Gardens. It was a time that saw Americans donating their hunting rifles, shotguns, and handguns to Britain to allow the home guard there to defend against what was expected to be a boots-on-the-ground invasion of the British Isles by the Nazis.

Our forbears won that epic battle to preserve freedom. They left a lasting legacy of preparation. And, yes, of self-reliance. In World War I, a “backwoods home” kinda guy who had learned how to shoot in the hills, Sgt. Alvin York, put those skills to good use and became America’s greatest hero of the conflict.  Audie Murphy, the most decorated hero of World War II, came from a similar mold.  Fast forward to Carlos Hathcock in Vietnam, and Chris Kyle in the current long-lasting conflict that grew out of 9/11/01. There are lessons here.

That self-reliance is at the heart of Backwoods Home, our host entity and the one to which I paid homage in the most recent post before this one.  A couple of days ago, at the Self-Reliance Expo in Lakeland, FL I finally got to meet Jackie Clay-Atkinson, who for good reason is Backwoods Home’s most popular writer. Her talk drew more people than any other presenter’s, and watching her answer audience questions I saw a human encyclopedia of the answers the attendees sought.

It’s easy to see why she’s so popular. She’s as down to earth in person as she is in print, and Jackie also has a sense of humor of which the print media has not taken full advantage. She genuinely cares about the people who read her work. She walks the walk, talks the talk, and lives the life.  She and her family are role models in many, many ways.

The Backwoods Home booth was clearly the most heavily attended at the Expo while I was there, including the Home Depot display.  The “real people” public recognizes what Backwoods Home is doing for them.

On 9/1l/16, “Keep your head on a swivel” as Pierce Kibbey advised in his excellent presentation at Self-Reliance Expo. The “bad guys” in this fight seem to place value on anniversary dates when they plan their evil.

And stay ready for anything (I say as someone who went through a hurricane about ten days ago, and was glad to be prepared).  Thanks to Jackie and the whole team at Backwoods Home for all they do.

The Expo…


Got to finally meet Jackie, left, and see Lenie Duffy again…


Jackie commanded the rapt attention of the largest audience I saw at the Expo.


Pierce Kibbey’s lecture on situational awareness was timely.


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