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Massad Ayoob on Guns

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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Massad Ayoob


Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Ah, a fresh new calendar!

This being a guns and shooting blog and all, what plans do you have in that vein for 2015?

What new firearm(s) do you hope to acquire?

Any gun modification projects in the works?

Thinking about trying some shooting sport in which you haven’t yet competed?  Try an Appleseed maybe?

Going afield after some game you haven’t hunted before?

Any particular class you’re thinking of taking?

You’re invited to share your shooting plans here!

Massad Ayoob


Saturday, December 27th, 2014

Christmas week brought sad news: the passing of retired Spokane police chief Terry Mangan, at age 76 after a long illness.

I was privileged to know the man. He was a cop’s cop.  I’ve known many police chiefs who sit behind a mahogany desk wearing a gold-bedecked white uniform shirt, perhaps as a symbol of “I don’t have to go out and get dirty anymore,” and a little vestigial gun as a badge of office, if they wore a gun at all.  Not Terry; every time I met him, he was wearing BDU pants, a polo shirt with the department logo, and on his hip, the same .40 caliber Glock 22 he issued to his officers.

An ordained clergyman in his first career before taking up police work, he was able to separate church and state while maintaining the values of fairness and kindness that had become a part of him before he pinned on the badge.  In his younger days he participated in civil rights marches, and as a chief aggressively recruited minorities and females onto the job – not because it was the politically correct thing to do, but simply because it was the right thing to do. Terry focused on community-oriented policing before it became a buzzword, and worked hard to keep the public positively involved with the police department.

A “gun guy” at heart, Terry could not be seen as such as a public official in one of the most anti-gun cities in America, but he made firearms safety education part and parcel of Spokane’s crime prevention programs.  He made sure that genuine self-defense uses of firearms in his city were treated as such.  Chief of Spokane for many years, his retirement took him to Quantico where he spent the rest of his career teaching and consulting for the FBI.

In a time when there is a desperate cry for police and public to come together and better understand one another, Terry Mangan would have been the ideal person to lead such a national dialogue.  How ironic that we lost him at a time when we needed him the most.

Godspeed, Chief.  It was an honor to have known you.

Massad Ayoob


Sunday, October 26th, 2014

I’m a father of daughters and have had the privilege of training multiple female shooting champions, including both of those daughters who each won national titles while still in their teens.  I’ve also spoken in court for some forty female law enforcement officers who were fired for failure to qualify with handguns that weren’t the right size for them (and which they sometimes weren’t trained with correctly), when I was able to confirm that proper training and suitable police weapons that DID fit them allowed them to qualify just fine.  So, it pleases this old testosterone creature when the estrogen tribe kicks butt with guns.

At the NRA annual conference in Indianapolis this year, I got to meet Lena Miculek.  She’s the daughter of two old friends: Jerry Miculek, whom I consider the greatest double action revolver shooter of our time and probably ever, and Kay Clark-Miculek, a national champion shooter in her own right and a kick-ass gunsmith who built the Clark Custom Ruger 10/22 I used to earn a Rifleman patch at my first Appleseed event.

Yeah, there may be a genetics component: if the sire and the dam are both Kentucky Derby winners, you can expect their filly to win races, too.  More to the point, though, both Jerry and Kay have shown themselves for decades to be exemplary as both human beings and shooting athletes, and they passed their dedication to excellence along to their daughter as well as all their knowledge.  She has been stomping mucho boo-tay in three-gun (rifle/shotgun/handgun) competition.  Her father is duly appreciative: see photo.Jerry Miculek Lena Miculek

Closer to home for this writer, estrogen still ruled this week.  Last Saturday, we finished a MAG-40 class in Florida and as usual, staff shot a pace-setter demonstration of the qualification, and then it was the students’ turn.  The instructors toss in $5 apiece, top staffer taking all…students pony up a buck each, winning student taking all…and anybody who beats me gets an autographed $5.  Tie scores on point value over the 60-shot qualification course are broken by group measurement: tightest shot cluster prevails.

Among the students were many instructors and some proven competition shooters, and the staff half a dozen state and regional shooting champions and at least four who have held national titles in handgun shooting competition.  When the proverbial gunsmoke had cleared, there were more than a couple of us who had perfect 300 out of 300 scores.  Mine lost on tie-breaker to that of Lt. Col. Dave “the Blaze” Blazek, USAF retired, who last month won the title of high military shooter at the IDPA National Championships in Tulsa.  Dave usually beats me anyway, but to add insult to injury, he did it this time shooting southpaw even though he’s naturally right-handed…and I’m awfully proud of him.

My Group

However, beating us BOTH and everyone else, was my own significant other, the Evil Princess.  She does that, every now and then – beating everybody on the range, including all the men, and most cruelly, including ME – because, I suspect, she just likes to feel the testosterone drop about ten degrees in male-dominated environments. J

And nobody’s  prouder of that than me.  Chicks rule!

Massad Ayoob


Monday, October 6th, 2014

I was in a conversation recently which turned in the direction of serpents, and not the two-legged kind.  I’ve never had to shoot a human being, but have found it necessary on occasion to dispatch poisonous snakes. Each time that happened, I was VERY glad to have a pistol on my person.

What’s the collective experience out there?  I’m no herpetologist, but I keep hearing from folks who live in rattlesnake country that today’s rattlers have learned to keep silent and not give warning before they strike.  True?

Please share experiences here.

Massad Ayoob


Monday, September 22nd, 2014

So, last Friday, the Evil Princess says to me from her workspace across the room from mine, “Today is ‘Talk Like A Pirate Day.’”

“Arrr,” I replied, “then gimme some booty, wench!”

Turns out that was the wrong thing to say, ‘cause I pretty much got keelhauled.

Be careful with this “Talk Like (Whatever) Day” business, fellas.  As far as I know, we’re out of the line of that fire until next April, when “Talk Like Shakespeare Day” comes around.

Forsooth…the winter of our discontent may show up on April 23.



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