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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.


Thursday, April 30th, 2015 by Mas | 60 Comments »

At least one blog reader suggests I’m overdue to comment on the Baltimore riots. He may be right. On the other hand, instead of being overdue, I may be premature writing about it now.
Tomorrow, Friday the first of May, the authorities are scheduled to announce where the investigation is in the death that ignited the riot. At the moment, there is a welcome “lull in the action” in Baltimore. There are indications that Freddie Gray, the career criminal dope dealer whose death triggered the conflagration, may have died through his own self-destructive misadventure. If the authorities announce such a conclusion, well…longtime readers will recall my take on the explosion in Ferguson, MO. When the chief prosecutor announced that the grand jury which saw all the evidence refused to indict the officer who pulled the trigger in that case, the “protesters” instantly became “rioters”: as seen on TV and still visible on YouTube, they triggered an obviously pre-planned response of violence without waiting to hear the prosecutor’s well-reasoned explanation of the grand jury’s decision. I would not be at all surprised to see the same reaction if the Baltimore investigation indicates the police may not be at fault in Mr. Gray’s sad death.
The flames in Baltimore carry symbolism beyond the obvious, inexcusable arson. The embers of that fire have flown across the country, reigniting the never-really-quenched flames of Ferguson, and sparking new ones in New York, Philadelphia, and elsewhere. That’s happened before and will doubtless happen again. There are people with agendas who want to see the flames of Baltimore turn into a nationwide firestorm.
What I’m about to say will in some parts be what is expected of me, and in some parts, not.
We’ve seen bullshit from both extremes. A Salon writer excuses the destruction of black-owned businesses, and a discount pharmacy in an impoverished neighborhood, and the burning of an old people’s home as somehow right because those who perceive themselves as downtrodden are justified in so expressing themselves. I say that’s so insanely unethical, the very suggestion destroys the credibility of the writer. And on the other side, I hear calls for police to open fire with machine guns and show those rioters a thing or two, and I call bullshit on that as well. Would you have your uniformed son or daughter fire the first shot in the next Kent State shooting, or the next Bonus Army shooting?
There have been some surprises. Within days of warnings that Crips, Bloods, and Black Guerrilla Family members were going to kill cops, all three groups attempted to create peace in the streets, and seem to have had some success, at least up ‘til now. Smart PR for those groups? Sure. But if they did actually help quell the violence, the deserve credit for doing so…as long as that approach continues.
Did the mayor really say that she created a safe zone for rioters? I for one don’t read it that way. I think she was saying that she created a safe zone for peaceful protest and those with a violent agenda took advantage of it, and I can’t fault her for what in retrospect may simply have been poor phrasing. But do I think there should have been a greater uniformed force presence on the streets sooner? Sure…but I wasn’t the one there to see the outbreak building, nor privy to the intelligence that would have warned of it…so I don’t have the standing to criticize the authorities for it, and neither does anyone else who didn’t know what the decision-makers knew in those critical hours.
A rush to judgment without facts – something I’ve warned about in this space before – led to this whole damn thing. I’m going to wait for the facts before I point fingers at the mayor and others in this volatile matter, for the same reasons.
But, enough about my take on the matter.
Let’s hear yours.


Monday, April 27th, 2015 by Mas | 12 Comments »

Preppers speak of “bugging in” instead of “bugging out” in SHTF (you-know-what Hits The Fan) situations, in reinforced homes or even bunkers.  My generation remembers when Washington told us we needed “fallout shelters” during the Cold War.  I can relate to the theory.

Thanks to friend D. Diem who passed it along, we can see one helluva far-sighted Shelter, created decades before the penultimate SHTF, the World Wars. (We have to assume that the ultimate will be worldwide nuclear warfare, I guess.)

Check it out here: .


Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 by Mas | 30 Comments »

In Chicago a few days ago, an armed citizen not only stopped a murder attempt, but it appears, may have also prevented a mass murder.

Coincidentally, I happened to be in Chicagoland when it happened.  As you might imagine, advocates of the right to self-protection are smiling rather smugly.  Being one of them, so am I, all the more so because of my long service on the board of trustees of the Second Amendment Foundation, which funded the landmark US Supreme Court case of McDonald, et. al. v. Chicago, which paved the way for concealed carry permits for law-abiding citizens in Illinois.

More details on that aspect here, from my old friend and Second Amendment advocate Dave Workman.

What brought me to Chicago in the first place this trip was the largest conference of police instructors in the world, the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, in Wheeling.  This coming Friday morning, I’ll be on a “train the trainers” panel chaired by Don Alwes, whose topic is dealing with mass murder attempts in progress.  The shooting mentioned above has already been discussed at this seminar, with much the same approval as is being seen from the law-abiding armed citizenry.  It promises to be an interesting discussion.

By the way, as is usual in seminars that cater to actual working cops, the National Rifle Association had a booth showcasing their current and long-lasting support of police training, and the anti-gunners were conspicuous by their absence…


Sunday, April 19th, 2015 by Mas | 21 Comments »

Last Friday I grabbed lunch at Booby’s restaurant in Niles, Illinois.  Niles is right next to Park Ridge, where Hillary Rodham Clinton grew up, and it has been said that Booby’s was one of her favorite hangouts in her younger days.  No argument here: food and service were excellent. Booby's

Booby’s is a place for ordinary neighborhood folks to eat.  As Mrs. Clinton, who for decades has surrounded herself with exemplars of wealth and power, attempts to reinvent herself as a champion of the middle class, her contact with mainstream Americans doesn’t seem to go a whole lot farther than having eaten at Booby’s.

Mrs. Clinton, quite possibly the most anti-gun Presidential candidate in memory, is traveling the country in a van she calls “Scooby,” whimsically named after the Scooby-doo cartoon.  I for one see more irony than whimsy.  As I understood it, most every episode of Scooby-doo involved someone pretending to be magical, fantastic, and marvelous, only to be revealed as a villainous fraud portraying themselves for their own benefit to be something they were not.

What would Scooby say? Probably, “Ruh-ro.”

As Oscar Wilde once said, “Life imitates Art more than Art imitates Life.”


Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 by Mas | 21 Comments »

The 2015 National Rifle Association Annual Meeting is done.  According to The Shooting Wire, attendance – which had been estimated at 70,000 in the newspapers – was actually somewhat in excess of 78,000.

Nashville, generally seen as a blue island in a red state, proved to be extremely welcoming to the NRA influx.  A great many of us in attendance were carrying guns, some openly, which is legal there.  Any untoward incidents would have been trumpeted to the skies by the national media.  Apparently, none took place, proving once again the truth in the Heinlein quote popularized by Jeff Cooper: “An armed society is a polite society.”

Some interesting guns were seen.  The long-awaited Glock 43 slim-line 7-shot 9mm was introduced to the public. I previewed this gun in these pages last month, and now have my own which is well into testing phase.  My time with it on the 25 yard bench was brief, but it gave me five shots in 2.10” at that distance with Federal 9BP 115 grain hollow points, and I know I pulled one of those shots a little bit.  You have to make sure the magazine is seated all the way, kinda like with an AR15, but I’m not finding any other quirks with it yet.

In rifles, I’m intrigued with Nosler’s new high performance 7mm round, the .28 Nosler. A 160 grain AccuBond bullet at 3300 feet per second has a lot of potential.

In working shotguns, Mossberg’s hugely popular Model 500 is now available in a left-handed version.  With ambidextrous top-tang safety, the Mossberg has always had appeal for southpaws, but one that ejects spent shells off to the left instead of distractingly across the shooter’s field of vision has definite appeal to those who shoot from the left shoulder.

Next year, the NRAAM will be held about the same time in Louisville, Kentucky.

Hope to see you there.

With Mr. Colion Noir, the face of the new generation of gun owners.


The new left-handed Mossberg 500 slide action shotgun.




Speaking on self-defense pitfalls at the National Firearms Law Seminar at NRAAM.




.26 Nosler preceded this year’s .28 Nosler.




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