Sunday, March 27, 2011

An Interview with Massad Ayoob

I'm going to cheat a little this time and direct your attention to a famous firearms expert; not just because I'm feeling lazy, but because I agree with what he says here and he says it so much better than I do. The following is a transcript of an interview Brad Kozak did with Massad Ayoob in January of this year.

Please note that quotes following each of the links below are just a small part of the information available at that link. Click through to get the quote in context.

Ayoob Chronicles part One
I would make the statement “I will sign the complaint,” which confirms from the outset that you are the victim/complainant, and the guy laying on the ground, doing an imitation of a victim is the actual perpetrator. I would point out witnesses, I would point out evidence. In the case of any further questions, I’d say “Officer, you will have my full cooperation, after I’ve spoken with counsel.” And hold to that like name/rank/serial number.

Why is this so important?

"It’s just so easy for something to be said out-of-sequence. The questions will be asked in the order that they occur to the questioning officer. Because his notes are being taken in that sequence, it creates the illusion later that this was you narrating the sequence of events. Because you answer in the order that the questions come from the officer, if you clarify something later, it creates the illusion that you’ve changed your story.

Ayoob Chronicles part Two
"That said, anytime you have to half-undress to get your gun back in the holster, nature is telling you, you don’t have the most effective system. What are you gonna do, if you have to draw your gun in a darkened parking lot and the suspect runs? Are you gonna stand there for two minutes, unbuttoning your pants to get the gun back in, when it’s over?

Being able to holster the gun, one-handed by feel, is, I think, a very critical survival skill for the armed citizen. It’s got nothing to do with the hundreds or repetitions you may do at the range in a week of training. It has everything to do with, as those officers are responding, as you don’t want to be “man with a gun” there now, you do not want to set the gun down on the ground, where the perpetrator can revive and reach it.

You want to be able to holster that gun without having to take your eyes off the suspect, without having to break your danger scan."

Ayoob Chronicles part Three
From the D.A.’s point of view, what are the red flags they will look for that will determine if they want to prosecute as opposed to believing it’s a justifiable, self-defense situation?

Well, the person who seems angry at the scene is a red flag. That’s never good. The person who has fled the scene – it’s one of the stupidest thing you can do, and I’ve been to classes where I’ve absolutely heard people say “leave the scene.” It triggers an element called “flight = guilt,” which is an tenet of the law that goes back all the way to the Bible. The assumption is, “if you did the right thing, why did you not stand your ground and explain yourself.”

Fleeing the scene is an almost guaranteed indictment, and is one of the most difficult to dig people out of.

Ayoob Chronicles part Four
Studies that Kapelsohn and others did, and that we replicated and that you’ve now replicated showed us what they showed you, that a tenth of a second is not going to be the deal-breaker. And over the years I’ve seen so many cases where when the finger was on the trigger, something startled the individual, someone grabbed the individual’s hand, someone grabbed at the gun, and the gun went off.

Well, guess what, you and I know that whoever grabbed the gun caused the discharge. All the rest of the world sees is, you were holding it, it went off, it’s negligence, negligence is the key ingredient, in a manslaughter conviction or a wrongful death finding, and you are screwed.

Ayoob Chronicles part Five
You’re gonna need a hand free to work the phone, you’re gonna need a hand free to turn doorknobs, to handle light switches. Any time you take one hand off a two-handed weapon, if somebody jumps you out of the dark, you’re gonna lose it before you can retain it. I say that having taught handgun retention for 30-something years now.

The handgun is the easiest of all firearms to retain, one-handed, and that does leave a hand free. If you need to go mobile for any reason, I prefer the handgun. If we’ve counted noses and everyone is here in the safe room with me, and the bad guys are kicking in the bedroom door, now I’d like to have something more substantial than a handgun, and that’s where the AR-15, the Mini-14, the shotgun come in.

If the budget or the situation only allows the one, I’d go with the handgun for the greater flexibility, even though you’re giving up some firepower.

Ayoob Chronicles part Six
"If you look at the several shootings, the watch repairman Lance Thomas, the Rolex expert was involved in, a chain of five gunfights with a minimum of multiple opponents. He often had to empty a gun, or another gun, et cetera, et cetera, to solve the problem. A situation some years ago, in Richmond, Virginia, the Beverly Hills Jewlers incident (also covered in American Handgunner magazine) where the people in the jewelry store emptied several five-shot revolvers at two very heavily-armed, professional criminals, before they finally managed to kill the two of them."

From the Massad Ayoob Group web site. If you're serious about defending yourself and your family with a gun you should read all of all of them.

"Ayoob has authored several books and more than 1,000 articles on firearms, combat techniques, self-defense, and legal issues, and has served in an editorial capacity for Guns Magazine, American Handgunner, Gun Week, and Combat Handguns. Since 1995, he has written self-defense and firearms-related articles for Backwoods Home Magazine He also has a featured segment on the television show Personal Defense TV, which airs on the Sportsman Channel in the United States."

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