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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 ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Massad Ayoob


Friday, April 18th, 2014

I was teaching in the Midwest when I learned that two Salt Lake City Police officers, one the son of an old, good friend, had been seriously wounded in a gunfight in which they had swiftly responded to the deadly ambush, returned fire, and slain the would-be cop-killer. The sparse police log report is here: .  A more in-depth report, from local news, is here:

Officers Mo Tafisi and Dan Tueller are credited with literally saving each other’s lives. If the latter name sounds familiar to gun folks, Dan is the son of Dennis Tueller, the famed SLCPD officer and trainer of a generation before, who did the ground-breaking research showing that the average man with a knife could close seven yards and deliver a fatal thrust in only 1.5 seconds, from a standing start. We’ll never know how many lives were saved by that knowledge; I can certainly point to a few.

Both are are recovering, but their recoveries won’t be overnight. Dan’s femur was shattered by the bullet he took, and one eardrum was ruptured by a close-range attempt to fire a bullet into his brain. Reconstructive surgery is going to take a long time. Yes, they get their paychecks and workmen’s comp, but cops with big families count on overtime and paid details to keep food on the table and clothes on the kids’ backs, and that’s gone for now.  With that in mind, I asked Dennis where concerned citizens could contribute. He replied:

“We now have both a website and bank account where donations can be made to help support Mo, Dan, and their families with some extra money to help get them through their recovery time. The website (developed by my son Jeff, via his web media studio) is: where you will find a PayPal link. Contributions can also be made to any branch of Mountain America Credit Union ( to find locations): SLC Sheepdogs, account #9807840.  You can also send checks to my address, below.

Donations of any amount are appreciated, and I thank you in advance for your help and support.  ~~Dennis Tueller, 1733 W. 12600 S. #113, Riverton, UT 84065,  p.s. My wife, Marti and I are the Trustees and administrators of the account, so there are zero fees and no overhead. All donations will go directly to support the officers and their families.”

Massad Ayoob


Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

My old friend Frank James has long been one of America’s favorite gun writers.  His honest warts-and-all evaluations of new firearms won the hearts of firearms enthusiasts even as they pissed off certain manufacturers.  He brought the same straightforward approach to his TV gun shows, “Gallery of Guns” on The Sportsman Channel and “Gun Stories” on The Outdoor Channel.

I learned from one of my favorite bloggers, Tamara Keel at View from the Porch, that Frank had been felled by a severe stroke in late January.  Thanks to brother writers Rich Grassi and Walt Rauch, I discovered that he was recovering in one of the world’s best rehabilitation clinics, and was able to adjust the schedule and fly there for a quick visit.

Happily, I can report that Brother Frank is still very much with us, still with a strong gun hand and working on getting the other hand back up and running.  The stroke damn near killed him, but he’s walking better than expected and exceeding the requirements of physical therapy every day. He wants to express his thanks for the volunteer emergency rescue team that saved his life, and for the rehab nurses he calls “angels with bedpans.”

Best of all, his incisive mind remains intact.  One friend told him, “You sound like the old Frank, with a cold.”  Hell, talking with him at the clinic, I couldn’t even detect the “cold” part.  You’ll be able to catch Frank on “Gun Stories” toward the end of July, because he recorded his segments prior to the stroke, but the medical crisis forced him to miss “Gallery of Guns” this season. Expect him back next season though!

Frank wants to remind all y’all to closely monitor high blood pressure if you have it, take your meds religiously, and dial 9-1-1 at the first hint of stroke symptoms. He doesn’t want others to go through what he did.  He’ll soon be transferring to a rehab center closer to home, so his lovely wife of 37 years won’t have to travel three hours each way to visit him.

“I’m going to beat this,” he says resolutely.

I know the man. With his determination and strength of character, I think he’s going to beat it, too.

You are all invited to post your good wishes to Frank in the comments section here, and I’ll see that they get to him, sorta like a cybernetic get-well card.

Frank James is an inspiration to us all.

Frank James

Massad Ayoob


Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Ever since some ACLU types tried to ban hollow points in the early ‘70s, the clueless have been shouting about “malicious intent” to cause “additional pain and suffering” with “more lethal” ammo. We’ve explained several reasons why it’s used. There’s one more, and it surprises folks until they look at what the courts call “the totality of the circumstances.”
One sharp-eyed, sharp-thinking reader, Alonzo Gomez, has already found it. In the last segment, he commented, “…just wanted to add this: stopping who needs to be stopped as fast as possible is not only in the interest of the shooter and any possible bystanders or victims, but also in the shootee’s. While the antis are so busy finding terminal ballistics discussions distasteful and irrelevant to their approach (‘don’t have a gun’), they seem to miss that one effective bullet, as abhorrent as the term ‘effective’ may be to them, is preferable to 12 ineffective ones in the target’s body. Hollow points are actually more humane. Unless they prefer that we load with icepick projectiles so they can better nail us in the courtroom for overkill?”
Alonzo nailed it. If you look at the big picture, the guy shot fewer times is probably easier for emergency medical personnel to save, making the expanding bullet literally less lethal. Now, the points of less over-penetration, reduced ricochet, and faster stops are pretty much incontrovertible. This last point is more debatable, because there are so many variables as to where even one bullet can land. But it’s a strong argument for our side, certainly strong enough to serve as an antidote to the poison of the BS “dum-dum bullets are indicia of malice” argument.
Thanks for taking the time to read this short series. Life has taught me that if you can’t explain why you’re doing what you’re doing, it’s nature’s way of telling you that you probably shouldn’t be doing it. The above explanations have served me well for forty years, and for the best of all reasons: they’re absolutely true.

Massad Ayoob


Friday, March 14th, 2014

I’m going to interrupt the series on hollow point ammunition for a time-sensitive announcement.  My friend Rob Pincus is running for the NRA Board of Directors as a write-in candidate.  If you’re a voting member, he’d appreciate your help.

His announcement is here:

His position statement is here:

I’ve known Rob for a long time. He’s a very bright and articulate guy, and comes from the home- and self-defense side rather than the sporting side.  We don’t agree on everything, but I’ve always found him open to new ideas and extremely analytical in his approach.

New blood is a good thing for any organization.  I think Rob Pincus would be good for the NRA, and I’m herewith endorsing him.

Massad Ayoob


Saturday, March 8th, 2014

A little while back, in this post, we all had fun with some of the “gun bloopers” from TV and the movies.  I have now been authorized to tell you about one movie that’s gonna get it right.

Panteao Productions is a producer of high-end tactical training films, as a quick scan of their website at will show.  In the interest of total disclosure, three of those films are mine, and like the others are all downloadable to computer or available to you on DVD.  I also shot on his pistol team for many years.  So, he’s a friend of mine…but I also know the guy, and when he says he’s going to produce a film, it gets produced.

Now, Panteao is going to expand into movie theater entertainment with the film “Alexander’s Bridge.”

You can check it out here:  Their quick synopsis is: “Alexander’s Bridge is a science fiction/action film about an elite team of US Army Delta Force Operators accidentally sent back 150 years to the middle of the Civil War. Finding themselves where a battle is about to take place and where thousands of Federal and Confederate soldiers will be killed or wounded, they must decide what to do. Can they make a difference? Who will they try to help? Will they get back home?”

I’ve read the script. This ain’t “Guns of the South” with M4s instead of AK47s.  Panteao CEO Fernando Coelho has real Delta Force operators like Paul Howe and Tom Spooner on his team, and many more top-notch people from whom to draw technical advice. The movement patterns, the tactics, and of course the gun handling are all gonna be real. The Civil War battle scenes won’t consist of Hollywood extras dressed in blue and gray and given rubber guns to run around with: they’ll be made up of hard-core Civil War re-enactors who are absolutely authentic down to the threads of their clothing,  period-correct boot-laces, and of course, the guns.

I hope I’m not letting a cat out of the bag here, but my favorite part of the script is that it ain’t just about 21st Century dudes rockin’ M4s and kickin’ butt on dudes with muzzle-loading single shots (though some of the players will be using period-correct lever actions like you’d have somehow found the money to buy for your son if he was going off to fight in the War Between the States back then).  The most moving part of the film will come when bone-tired battle surgeons of the 1860s watch America’s Finest apply modern tactical emergency medicine to wounded soldiers.  I like it because it shows the world that Our People care more about saving lives than extinguishing them.

It will be entertainment…but it will also be “enter-train-ment.” With the “indiego” thing, you get to chip in for a piece of the production action.

And once it comes out, the next time you and your friends are joking about how movies and TV always get this stuff wrong, you’ll be able to say…”Well, they got it right on the movie I helped to underwrite and produce!”



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