"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done."
Ronald Reagan

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Massad Ayoob - Why Good People Need SemiAutomatic Firearms and “High Capacity” Magazines

Within roughly the same timeframe as the Newtown Atrocity, a criminal armed with a crowbar broke into the home of a young mother who was there alone with her nine-year-old twins. When she and the kids had retreated as far as they could and the intruder still kept coming, she opened fire with a .38 caliber revolver.

When her gun went empty, five of the six shots had struck the intruder. Whether it’s drunkenness, drugs, or desperation, some violent criminals can be harder than others. In this case, the intruder was still up and running. The smart and courageous young mom bluffed him at the point of her now-empty six-shooter, telling him in essence that she would finish him off if he kept attacking.

The bluff worked. He fled, running out of steam later, though he is still alive to face criminal charges.

Anyone who is not blind from rabid anti-gun sentiment can see that this would not have ended well for the mom OR her young twins if the suspect had been just a little tougher and more resolved…or if he’d had an accomplice.

American Rifleman, the monthly magazine of the National Rifle Association, carries a regular column titled The Armed Citizen. It documents cases of good people using guns to protect themselves and other innocents from bad people. This continuing feature has run for decades, so old that one of my grandfather’s self-defense incidents is in its archives.

The Armed Citizen section in the current issue of the Rifleman, warrants our interest. Bear in mind that a real life self-defense shooting is not a “Dirty Harry” cinematic fantasy in which every shot fired will both strike, and instantly blow away, a bad guy. Real life is more like a zombie movie: if the first bullet doesn’t short-circuit the central nervous system, you have to keep shooting until the skeletal support structure no longer holds him (and his weapon) up where he can hurt you and yours, or until his cardiovascular system has run out of oxygenated blood for his brain. The latter mechanism’s effect can often be better measured in minutes than in moments.

Traditionally limited to a single page, the Armed Citizens column in the February 2013 issue contains seven incidents “torn from the headlines” as the dramatists like to say, all documented by the local news media where the incidents took place.

In EACH of those incidents, only ONE of the intended victims was armed and capable of fighting back.

A mere two of those seven documented incidents were “one on one” confrontations. In each the Good Guys were actually Good Gals: A 35-year-old woman in New Mexico and Jill Stucker, 64, of Florida had to deal with only a single attacker apiece.

Three of the people saved by their guns were up against two-to-one odds: An unidentified farmer in West Virginia, store owner Roger Webster of Maryland, and an 83-year-old lady with a “walker” in Tennessee.

And two of the seven documented cases – A 35-year-old woman in the New Orleans area and a Pennsylvania man – were each up against a gang of at least FOUR home invaders.

In a world where the Good People With Guns often have to deliver several hits to neutralize even one Bad Person With Deadly Weapons, and in which there is often more than one attacker, anyone applying logical thinking can only end up shouting one three-word
mantra: DO THE MATH!!

Massad Ayoob

Massad F. Ayoob is an internationally known firearms and self-defense instructor.
Massad 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.
Massad Ayoob was former Vice Chairman of the Forensic Evidence Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and is believed to be the only non-attorney ever to hold this position.


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