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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


Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Did anyone doubt that the Orlando atrocity would trigger a wave of gun-banning sentiment? Dancing in the blood of the innocent is what those people do.

We have some Democrats screaming for Prohibitionistic legislation already. And, according to Breitbart, some Republicans willing to negotiate away the rights of law-abiding citizens.

On the other hand, a few media sources are reaching out to both sides and doing some research.

The prohibitionists are gonna ride this thing at a gallop. Remember how they ramrodded the egregious SAFE Act through the NY State Legislature in a fevered over-reaction to the atrocity at Sandy Hook Elementary School? Picture the same in much larger scope.  Might be a good time to remind your elected representatives where you stand.

Massad Ayoob


Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

This blog began on April 7, 2008.

It’s been a fun ride since.

At 9:14 AM Eastern today, the following entry came in from one of our regular contributors, Dennis, in response to Reflections On D-Day :

“TW, You’re right about the Marines in the South Pacific. Unlike the Army, in Europe, who handled all of their own logistics, the Navy handled the logistics for the Marines, who were basically the ground combat forces of the Navy. My Dad’s WW2 experiences were sort of unique. Even with bad knees, he was drafted into the Army Air Corps, right after Pearl Harbor. His first month was spent in the hospital for knee surgery, followed by abbreviated basic training while recovering. He was sent to an airbase on New Caledonia in the South Pacific where he served as an aircraft mechanic (was a mechanic prior to being drafted, aircraft skills learned OJT) for the duration, as he called it. As the saying goes, ‘all gave some, some gave all.’”

It was the 20,000th comment on this blog.  Dennis will be getting an autographed book as a small prize.

A blog with no commentary is simply one person’s thoughts.  Add in the commentary, and you have dialogue and a far more effective exercise in promoting thought and gathering knowledge.

I have all of you to thank for that.

A couple of blog entries here attracted so much useful commentary from readers that they grew into full-length articles, each commentator being quoted for what they contributed to the discussion.  Both pieces appeared in my “Ayoob on Firearms” column in Backwoods Home magazine, one on use of guns in extremely cold weather, and one on guns as protection of self and others from venomous snakes. I’m toying with doing the same with this one.

It’s gratifying that in the course of eight years, I’ve seldom had to delete a comment. When it happens, it’s usually someone trashing another individual who commented (I’m fair game, commentators are not), or who couldn’t accept their first warning not to make racist comments, drop F-Bombs, etc.  I can still count on the fingers of one hand those I’ve banned, and that was for stuff like death threats, or indications of stark lunacy.

As far as I’m concerned, you guys and gals who comment here MAKE this blog.  I humbly thank you all for your participation, and look forward to the next 20,000 comments.

Massad Ayoob


Monday, June 6th, 2016

D-Day took place a bit over four years before I was born. My generation grew up revering those who fought there…the Greatest Generation, our parents’ generation.


Today, we are witnessing the passing of the last of that generation. They taught us the importance of fighting evil and the futility of denying its existence.  They taught us the importance of being ready to fight before the need to do so manifests itself. Today, I was reading “Hell In The Pacific,” Jim McEnery’s 2012 memoir with Bill Sloan of the Pacific campaign, and “Into the Valley” by John Hersey, written in 1943 when he was TIME-LIFE’s war correspondent in that theater. The Hersey book ended with a plea for readers to buy war bonds and help win this thing.  Both men recounted that the Marines landed on Guadalcanal with World War I vintage 1903 Springfield bolt action rifles.  Not until he was en route to the next island was McEnery issued the semiautomatic M-1 Garand, which General George S. Patton would later call “the greatest battle implement ever devised,” even though the M-1 had come out in 1936.

About the only homage I can pay today is carrying a Parkerized 1911-A1 .45, reading about the great American heroes…and remembering both their sacrifices, and the lessons they have bequeathed our nation, and us all.

Massad Ayoob


Saturday, June 4th, 2016

I’m not sure it’s a Mars and Venus thing.  More a circadian rhythm thing maybe…

All I know is that my Significant Other, in one of the great understatements, says of herself: “I am not a morning person.” I would have said “creature of the night,” but perceptions can be subjective.

All I know is, waking her up in the morning looks kind of like this. I’m the one on the right…

Or watch Video Here.

Massad Ayoob


Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

If you’re an armed citizen, shooter, hunter, etc., the more you know about guns and how they work, the better – obviously. It can make the difference between venison or macaroni in the larder during hunting season. It can determine survival or death when faced with a homicidal criminal. Heck, some of us have been able to earn a living from that sort of knowledge.

Every now and then, though, gun knowledge comes in handy in other ways.

A friend of mine, sadly no longer with us, did multiple careers as a cop, an educator, and a gun shop owner.  At one point, he signed up as a volunteer for the local suicide hotline.  The night came when he was on call, and the man on the other end of the phone told him he had a gun and was about to blow his own brains out.

As my late friend conversed with him, his mind racing to find the right persuasive answer, he bought time by asking, “What kind of gun do you have, anyway?” The man replied.  I’ve forgotten exactly what it was now, but my friend recognized it as a brand known to be a piece of junk.  He asked about the ammunition, and the suicidal man told him it was some old cartridges he’d found in the garage.

The light bulb went on. My friend explained to the man that he was a gun collector himself and knew a lot about them. He explained that old ammo might have weakened with age, and talked about cases he knew of where someone attempted suicide with that sort of cartridge and the bullet didn’t go in deep enough to kill, just enough to horribly cripple.  The outcome? He was able to talk the man out of it.

(Interestingly, the folks at the crisis hotline were horrified that he had taken that approach instead of following the usual script. Apparently, it was a case of “you didn’t save his life our way,” and he was let go from hotline duty.)

Then, there was the famous case of the teenage NRA member who stopped a mass murder at his high school. Young Jacob Ryker was wounded when a disaffected schoolmate who had just murdered his own parents went on a shooting rampage at the school in Springfield, OR in 1998. Taught early to shoot by his father, Ryker recognized when the killer’s gun went empty and jumped him, leading to successful disarm and restraint that stopped the killing.

I was recently re-reading “The Mad, the Bad, and the Innocent: The Criminal Mind on Trial” by forensic psychologist Barbara Kirwin. She tells of the time, in her role as a psychologist for the prosecution, she examined one Gustavo Nino, who was charged with murder in the shooting of his friend Ruben Gonzales and was pleading self-defense:

“I steered him into a conversation about guns,” she begins. “The murder weapon was a Colt Python .357 magnum. ‘I own a Colt Python three-fifty-seven,’ I told him, ‘and I love it, too.’ I began to rhapsodize about the gun – about the vented barrel, the striated grips, the feel of firing it.

“Gustavo joined in enthusiastically. ‘You know,’ he declared, a swagger in his voice, ‘I went to my house to get a gun to go after Gonzales. First I picked up an automag, but then I went back to get the three-fifty-seven – it was more accurate.’

‘I  sat back triumphant. Gustavo was busted. With those few words, he had revealed a motive of revenge and showed consideration, planning, and a full awareness of his acts.”

Trip up a clever murderer, stop a mass killer, talk a potential suicide victim into giving life another chance…I think that’s worthy use of firearms knowledge, don’t you?

Please share here any such incidents that come to mind.



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