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Massad Ayoob on Guns

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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Massad Ayoob

THURBER WAS AHEAD OF THE REST

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

A recent meme in the armed citizen community has been arming Little Red Riding Hood (and/or her grandmother) and predicting the outcome.

Turns out James Thurber was ahead of the rest of us. This, from his collection “The Thurber Carnival,” published by Harper Brothers and encompassing Thurber work from 1931 through 1945.

Enjoy!

Thurber

Massad Ayoob

ANOTHER GREAT INSTRUCTOR PASSES

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Word reached me today that Pat Rogers had passed away.  Many in our field are grieving for a man they knew, appreciated, and even loved. I and others are feeling the pain of not being able to meet someone we always wanted to train with.

Pat Rogers was on my short list of great instructors I hadn’t met yet. We shared many students, and Pat was one of the very few in the industry that no one ever seemed to have a bad word about.  His focus was on fighting with a gun, not recreational shooting, and by all accounts he did it spectacularly well. I regularly read his articles in SWAT magazine, and always found him to have a practical reason for every position he took.  He was known for being gruff but caring, and was famous for his sense of humor. He understood what many in that business do not: that judiciously applied humor alleviates the grimness of some of the subject matter, and prevents the learning circuits from shutting down. Being able to laugh – including at yourself – also makes the hard work of training seem less hard.

He leaves a legacy of several excellent training films done for Panteao.  I hope our mutual friend Denny Hansen, editor of SWAT, can get with Rogers’ survivors and see about creating a book of his collected articles encompassing “the best of Pat Rogers.”

I understand Pat spent full careers with the US Marine Corps, retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer, and the New York City Police Department, retiring as Sergeant – experiencing and winning mortal combat in both – before he set out on his third career as a private trainer. Damn shame he didn’t get a longer run in the last. His collective life experience (and his trademark practicality and logic) made him a strong advocate of armed citizens’ rights.

Rest in peace, sir, and thank you for your service.

Massad Ayoob

WELL…DARN

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Today brought sad news from the print magazine world.

For many, many years I wrote the “Self-Defense and the Law” column for Harris’ Combat Handguns magazine, and the occasional feature article. I wrote the “Off-Duty” column and, until now, the “First Responder” column for their Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement.  From the early 1990s ‘til a couple of years ago I also wrote their annual Complete Book of Handguns. (Yes, semanticists out there, I know that every year’s edition was completely different from the previous, but I inherited the “Complete Book” title.)

I also found it amusing that Harris’ music magazine, Revolver, was always placed in the gun magazine section instead of the music section of the racks at my local WalMart.

For nearly 40 years, the Harris gun magazines put a lot of great material out there.  The changing paradigms of electronic vis-à-vis dead tree media are no secret.  I’m glad that Backwoods Home is still surviving quite well. Three print gun magazines I write for, Guns and American Handgunner on the newsstands and the professional journal Shooting Industry, all seem to be flourishing despite the rise of the electronic media.

My heart goes out to the many good people in New York who worked so hard and so long, full-time, for the Harris titles.  They were always professional, and I wish them luck.

Massad Ayoob

Part 5: The PERF-etrators

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

When I first saw the Police Executive Research Forum’s “30 Guiding Principles” in their “Use of Force: Taking Policing to a Higher Standard,” I showed it to my significant other. She’s not LE herself, but hangs out with enough law enforcement personnel to have a good idea how things work. After reading it, she shook her head sadly and said, “Who PERF-etrated this?”

The answer, according to PERF itself, is “Approximately 200 police chiefs and other police officials from various ranks, along with federal officials, academics, and mental health experts.” How significant that one category is missing from that mix: police instructors in the law and practice of judicious use of force. IALEFI, the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors and ILEETA, the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, would undoubtedly have been happy to help research and explain things, Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that either was contacted.

I thought the single most egregious of their 30 points was Policy 3: “Police use of force must meet the test of proportionality.” (Emphasis PERF’s.) That sounds reasonable enough until you read the fine print: “In assessing whether a response is proportional, officers must ask themselves, ‘How would the general public view the action we took? Would they think it was appropriate to the entire situation and to the severity of the threat posed to me or to the public?’”

What? What? Should life or death decision guidelines be made by people with hashtag agendas who can’t seem to distinguish murder from justifiable homicide? The sort of people who create “hands up, don’t shoot” memes when hands weren’t up and “don’t shoot” wasn’t uttered? People who expect cops to risk fatal stab wounds (to themselves, and to others) because someone who doesn’t understand weapons doesn’t realize that within its range a knife can be as or more deadly than a police duty gun?  We don’t let cultists and faith healers determine medical treatment protocols.  We shouldn’t let people who replace scientifically-determined reality with fantasized memes be the arbiters of justifiable protective use of force.

IACP (the International Association of Chiefs of Police, i.e., “management”) and FOP (the Fraternal Order of Police, i.e., “labor”) have taken the unprecedented step of joining together to refute and challenge the PERF guidelines.  There is a clue, there.

An organization that calls itself a “research forum” should, one would think, put forth some research.  The PERF 30 document under discussion contains exactly one footnote…citing another PERF paper.   Instead, the report speaks glowingly of Scottish police training to deal with knife-wielders without deploying firearms, ignoring the facts that (A) the desperate constables have to do it that way because the vast majority are not allowed to carry firearms, and (B) their training explains to them at the outset that they can expect to be slashed or stabbed while trying to subdue blade-wielders without using guns.

Instead of letting the misperceptions of the uninformed (or agenda-motivated) elements of the public become the landmark for guidelines, PERF might have found room for one more recommended policy: Educating that public on the realities of police use of force. Sadly, that much needed element appears to be totally lacking from their recommendations.

As I close, let me state again that all the opinions I have expressed on this topic are my personal opinions, not necessarily those of any agency or organization which I serve.

Massad Ayoob

MORE GOOD READING

Friday, February 19th, 2016

Have you noticed that despite the vehement anti-gun sentiments of the mainstream media, there are more gun magazines on the newsstands than ever?  That’s true on the Internet, as well.

I’m proud to have a small part in the newest, called The Sear.  Go to The Sear and I think you’ll see more than a couple of familiar names.

The Sear is on Facebook, too .

I think editor Anton Runkles has put some darn good gun reading together.  But I’m biased, so let me know what YOU think.

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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