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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.


Monday, May 1st, 2017 by Mas | 11 Comments »

Official count of attendees has been announced, and it went over 81,000.  That’s 81,000 people who came to Atlanta on their own dime, against a few buses full of protesters, many of them doubtless paid to be there.  None of whom were at the Convention Center, though it seemed they got about as much publicity as the 81,000 law abiding gun owners.  Sigh…

Overall mood of the conference?  Solidarity, a definite post-November 2016 victory dance…and enough complacency to worry about.  We won a battle, not the culture war that the other side wages on the gun debate.

Sales are down, but in perspective, the general consensus of the industry is that it isn’t a slump, but a return to normalcy.  We’ve had a reprieve from a Presidential candidate who demonized guns and their owners. The mad rush to stock up on gun and ammo prior to the election was caused not a panic, but a perfectly logical rush to buy legal firearms before they were banned by malum prohibitum feel-good fiats by what would have been the most anti-gun (and anti-gun owner) President in history had she not been defeated.

Atlanta proved to be a very welcoming city.  I drove there, but was told that at the airport, there were “Welcome NRA” signs.  If you live in California or Maryland or New Jersey, remember that Georgia accepts refugees.

Some had been worried about “antifas,” the violent self-proclaimed “anti-fascists” who have physically attacked Republicans, Trump supporters, etc. elsewhere.  The antifas were notable by their absence.  I’m told one of their mottos is “Put Your Fist In A Fascist’s Face,” their definition of “fascist” being anyone they disagree with.  How ironic that they don’t understand their behavior is the very exemplar of fascism.

Perhaps they thought if they tried to “Put a Fist in the Face” of an NRA member, they might get a response of “Blast a Bullet Into a Brainless Bully’s Butt.”


Saturday, April 29th, 2017 by Mas | 5 Comments »

I noticed the “collector’s corner” here was much smaller than it has been at past NRA Annual Meetings.  That’s just sad…

Almost a mile from the annual meeting, Shannon Watts held her annual anti-NRA protest, claiming some 300 attendees.  Those there way it was way less, and I can tell you for a fact that a lot of the folks there were NRA people.  Some came for a lark, some to see if Ms. Watts and her guest speakers had anything of substance for a change this year (she didn’t), or both.  Some pro-gun stalwarts with cat-ate-the-canary grins can be seen on Facebook, posing with their Moms Demand Action tee shirts.  It’s an inside joke: the Demanding Moms were so desperate to make their ranks look more substantial than they were, they handed out the free shirts to passers-by, hence the inside joke the gun people are celebrating in those pictures.

Looked kinda like this.



Friday, April 28th, 2017 by Mas | 12 Comments »

Spent the first day of the meeting at the annual Firearms Law Seminar, conducted off-site at the downtown Westin in Atlanta.  Emceed by Carol Bamberry, a formidable pro-gun litigator who made the thing work like a Swiss watch, I found it every bit as instructive as it was intended to be. List of topics and speakers can be found here: .

The Evil Princess went over to the anti-Trump, anti-gun “Die-In” and found it, well, dead.  Our friend Miggy Gonzalez got the same impression, here: .

Pickings are reportedly kind of thin this year insofar as new product introductions.  Springfield Armory’s recent suspense-filled intro turned out to be their first traditional double action semiautomatic pistol, a 9mm single-stack called the XDE.  The safety/decock lever works the same way as the one on a Variant 1 HK USP or a current style Taurus PT-92.  Looking forward to giving it a live fire test drive.

I didn’t make it to the Trump appearance, since I was one of the speakers at the Legal Seminar at the same time, but those who did tell me they found him personable, upbeat, and humorous. He declared his continued support for Second Amendment issues, but at least one activist said he was disappointed the President didn’t create an executive order to eliminate gun-free zones like “he said he would.”

More tomorrow.


Monday, April 24th, 2017 by Mas | 6 Comments »

Well, not all that new, but not widely known.  The Evil Princess and I enjoy shooting Glock matches, hosted by the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation.  A third of each run is Bianchi Cup style 8” diameter falling plates shot from eleven yards, four plate racks per entry.  A third is the Five-To-Glock stage, shot on that many buff-colored cardboard targets at various ranges, the targets being the tombstone-shaped NRA D-1 developed originally for Bianchi Cup by my late mentor Ray Chapman. Finally, there’s the Glock M, an array of four D-1 cardboards and one piece of steel.

GSSF was designed for outdoor ranges. Fragments of lead or jacket coming off steel play hell with the lights on indoor ranges.  For indoor shooting, the GSSF folks came up with their gallery match, which of course can be shot outdoors too.  You only get one target at a time to shoot at, and it’s in five- and ten-shot sequences at fixed time.

The Princess and I were planning to shoot one of those, the last of the season, not far from where we live.  Unfortunately, something came up and we couldn’t make it.  I had been psyched up to shoot the darn thing, and E.P. came up with the idea to just shoot it for fun on our range, video it, and make a tutorial out of it.

So, we did.  I blew a shot, dammit, but such is life.  Give it a try; you can shoot it on most any indoor or outdoor range and see how you stack up. You only have to use a Glock pistol if you’re at an official Glock match.

Video follows, run time about twelve minutes. For info go to  There might just be a GSSF Indoor League shooting near you already, and most anyplace in the continental US, you can find a regular GSSF match within a day’s drive.  Lots of fun, and very friendly to newcomers to competitive shooting.


Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 by Mas | 7 Comments »

The Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta will be the site of NRAAM, the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting (and Exhibit), April 27-30.  You don’t have to be there every day, and since the dates encompass the weekend, feel free to bring your kids. If you’re an NRA member, it’s free!

There will be inspirational speakers.  There will be almost every gun, ammo, and accessory manufacturer there with their latest wares.  Unlike the SHOT Show, which is an industry trade show open only who those who work in said industry and are at SHOT to sell product and take orders, at NRAAM the companies send their engineers and new product people. They love to mingle with end-user shooter folk and talk guns.  It’s a much friendlier and more relaxed atmosphere. That’s one reason I try to go every year. Something else you see at NRAAM much more than at SHOT: some of the all-time world’s greatest gun collections on display, with the collectors themselves there where you can pick their brains.

For me, the highlight of the event is the annual Firearms Law Seminar, which will be all day Friday the 28th. I don’t say that just because I’m one of the speakers again this year.  I’ll only be at the podium for 45 minutes or an hour late morning, but I’ll be there from 8 AM to closing to soak up all I can from the heavy hitters who comprise the rest of the speakers’ list.

Program is here.  Overview is here. You can scroll down the biographies of the speakers here.

When living legends of the gun owners’ civil rights movement like Stephen Halbrook are going to be talking, any serious advocate for the Second Amendment advocate knows it’s smart to be there to listen!

Unlike the NRA Annual Meeting itself, they charge for the legal seminar. (What can I say? There are lawyers involved…) Ticket info is here.  Attorneys get CLE (Continuing Legal Education) credit.

However, there’s going to be another HU-U-UGE highlight this year: President Trump is going to address in person the NRA members who worked so hard to get him elected over Hillary Clinton.

Sadly, he is scheduled to speak the same day as the legal seminar. One effect of this is, since it will drain many attendees from the legal seminar, those doing the legal seminar might just be in a mood to dicker about the entry/tuition fee. If you are interested, you’ll have to bypass website registration and email seminar coordinator Sarah Gervase at

If the legal stuff isn’t up your alley, I still hope to see you at NRAAM. Over the weekend, I’ll be hanging out at the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network booth noon to 2:00 PM each day.

And if you can’t make it, we’ll be reporting on it here.

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