Mas Ayoob 2019An Interview with Massad Ayoob

Interview by Gila Hayes

eJournal: Thank you, Mas, for agreeing to talk to us about surviving mob violence. It is a timely topic on which our readers have many questions. May we start by defining our terminology? What are the different meanings of the terms “rioters,” “a mob” or “political protesters?”

Ayoob: The terms, unfortunately, mean different things to different people, Gila. If you look at the dictionary, a mob is a crowd of people, usually a relatively large crowd, especially one that is disorderly and intent on causing trouble or violence. Now, just within that definition you will see the term stretched here and there. Let’s say a rock star is being mobbed by his adoring fans and autograph seekers. It’s a mob of screaming fans, they appear to be disorderly, but there is no collective intent to harm. So, I am not sure that “mob,” as we use the word today, would apply to that correctly.

Rioters are people causing tumultuous damage often accompanied by arson and looting, which is large scale theft.

Finally, we have the protesters. In the ideal situation, protesters have gotten a license from the police department to march, the streets will be closed off for them, and they calmly do their march, maybe chanting slogans, and that would be the extent of it.

Going back into the 18th century, it has been understood that as the law applies, a mob, essentially, is an organism all moving in the same direction with the same unlawful purpose, with a homicidal intent and usually, to some degree, a specific target. It has been said that just as every member of the mob shares the criminal and civil responsibility for damage caused by the mob, they also share the responsibility for the fear they have created in the victim who opens fire. Therefore, if you aimed at Rioter A but you hit Rioter B, too bad, a target is a target, and they started the fight, and they lost.

The mob violence once was essentially geared to what since the 19th century has been called a lynch mob. What we are seeing here today is a different pattern of encounter.

Let’s go back in history to January 14, 1881. Everybody who has seen cowboy movies and read history has a picture in their mind of Wyatt Earp standing in front of the jail with a sawed-off shotgun holding off a mob that wants to lynch a prisoner. That actually happened in 1881. There were primarily four lawmen: Wyatt Earp, his brother Virgil, County Sheriff Johnny Behan and Ben Sippy, who was the town Marshal.

The man they were protecting was named Michael O’Rourke who, I believe, at the time, they were actually holding in a local saloon. He had shot and killed a very popular mining engineer in Tombstone, AZ, which was a mining town and the other miners were absolutely furious, so they worked up a lynch mob.

The lawmen stood off the mob, I believe that no one was shot although there may or may not have been warning shots. They made it clear, “We know you are going to murder this man, but we have a duty to bring him to justice and let the courts do their job. If you try to get past us and take him, we will kill you.” The mob realized, “They’re not kidding!” and turned around and left.

Continuing into the 20th century, probably one of the most famous of the Texas Rangers is Frank Hamer. It is an interesting irony, because Hamer killed a great many people in gun fights in the course of his career, and a great many were Hispanic because so much of his work was along the Mexican border. There are people who call him a racist simply because he shot someone of a different color. It is a proven, documented fact that many times Frank Hamer stood alone against lynch mobs and protected black men that the white mobs, infiltrated with KKK, wanted to take out and hang. I don’t recall that he ever had to shoot any of those, but had he done so, his actions would have been justifiable.

Probably the classic case of an armed citizen defending against a mob goes back to 1925 and the then-famous case of Dr. Ossian Sweet. He was an African American physician in the city of Detroit, which was very, very segregated at the time. He moved into a nice, upscale home in what previously was an all-white neighborhood and a whole lot of the white folks–remember this time was a peak of KKK influence–decided that they wanted him out of there.

On a day when he had 10 members of his family and friends inside his home, they surrounded his house, screaming all sorts of epithets, and finally started throwing rocks through the windows. Shots were fired from inside the house, killing one member of the white mob and wounding another. Everyone who was in the Sweet household at the time was arrested and charged with murder. In the first trial, they were all tried together, and the jury hung. So, there was a second trial and they apparently decided if we can’t get them all together, we will get them one at a time.

The first trial was that of Ossian Sweet’s younger brother, Henry, and the NAACP hired Clarence Darrow to defend him. Darrow gave an absolutely brilliant argument on the sanctity of the home, the right to protect the home and the principle of the Castle Doctrine. The all-white jury acquitted and at that point, I think the prosecutor saw the handwriting on the wall and dropped the rest of the cases.

Now, what you had in every one of those cases is the rule that a member of the mob shares the responsibility and therefore all share in the general jeopardy from the fear created in people who defend themselves against the mob. All of the members of the mob were there for a single, dedicated purpose of harming and killing certain people. That is the kind of lynch mob for which the rule was geared.

If you fast-forward to the latter 20th century, the classic example is the so-called Rooftop Koreans. In 1992, the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles left 50-some dead: the death toll would later rise to 63 as some of the more severely injured people died. It caused over $1 billion in property damage. Thousands of people were injured, some of whom would never be made whole.

It was the acquittal of the four officers who arrested King that really triggered the riots, but something else was also going on. In a neighborhood known as Koreatown, a female Korean shop owner named Soon Ja Du had shot and killed a 15-year-old black girl named Latasha Harlins. She accused Miss Harlins of shoplifting and the young girl threw a drink in her face and was shot in the back of the head by the store owner. The African American community was, understandably, infuriated when the store owner was convicted of voluntary manslaughter but sentenced to probation with fines and community service. As a result, the Koreatown area was pretty hard-hit during the riots.

The Koreans armed themselves. They claimed there was absolutely no police presence. The police had withdrawn and were not responding to 9-1-1 calls. The Koreans staged on the rooftops where they had a decent field of fire and they made it clear, “The city is burning. You are not going to burn this community. We will shoot you.”

eJournal: Were there many actual shootings?

Ayoob: Well, there history diverges. I cannot find any documented cases; there were, certainly, warning shots. Of course, none of us here recommend warning shots. To answer your question, I cannot find any documented cases where it was confirmed that they had shot anyone.

eJournal: Well, with no police response, there would be no post shooting investigations. Who is to say who caused the death of whom?

Ayoob: There are stories and rumors that a bunch of the dead were killed by armed citizens, including the so-called Rooftop Koreans. People were on their own! They were on their own in a dystopian situation through no fault of their own. As of 2017, a follow-up investigation in the Los Angeles Times reported that no one knows who killed 23 of the slain.

That set a paradigm and we have seen after Hurricane Andrew in Florida and after Hurricane Katrina: when there was looting and there were armed people present protecting the stores, those stores were not looted; those stores were not burned.

We saw it in 2014 with the riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Very seldom did they actually have to shoot those people. The understanding was, well, yes, someone might call standing in front of your store with an AR 15 “going armed to the terror of the public,” but there was no alternative. The police had been called back on the orders of the city fathers. Left on their own, the people in Ferguson did what they had to do. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of any cases where the prosecutor was stupid enough to prosecute the people who used guns to protect.

eJournal: Six years later, has the landscape of the criminal justice system changed?

Ayoob: In the recent rash of riots, at least one store owner in the Midwest has been arrested for shooting and killing a man whose body was outside the pawnshop when the police got there. Whether he was shot outside the building or inside the store then staggered outside to die, I do not know and I have not seen any public determination at this time. The pawnshop owner claimed self defense and they arrested him on the charge of murder, last I knew.

What we are seeing that is different in the current 2020 situation is most aptly described by a friend of mine who is a very street-wise police supervisor in a major, high crime city. He said the difference this time is that the mob is not working with one mind, one purpose and one target. What we have is the Antifa types and the opportunistic looters basically seeding themselves in among those I would call the legitimate protesters–the people who are there in good conscience and good faith, to cause no physical harm to anyone and to voice what they believe is a very important concern.

My friend said the crowd today is not a mob; the crowd today is an ocean in which the predators swim, hide and are essentially effecting camouflage. They emerge out of the ocean to set fires to buildings, to violently assault people, and then to melt back into the protection of the crowd. They are using the crowd in the same way that Saddam Hussein used human shields: taking women and children and settling them in camps surrounding all the military bases during the Iraq war when he was afraid the Americans would obliterate his military bases.

That changes things entirely in the 2020 riot situations. If you look at some of the discussion among the more militant people on certain forums and social media, you’ll find things like, “I will load my .308 with military ball so I can shoot through bad guys and get three of them with one shot.” One guy said he was going to load hard-cast hunting bullets in a .44 Magnum so he could get three rioters with one.

You just want to slap those idiots in the head, because you do not know who is behind the guy who is attacking you. Maybe–and we have seen this happen–it is a legitimate protester trying to grab and pull him off of you and saying, “This is not what we are about!” Do you want to kill that person with an over penetrative bullet?

Everyone cites the Reginald Denny beating. Without question, if Reginald Denny had a gun, he would have had a right to kill all four of those evil bastards that stomped him. One literally crushed his skull with a cinder block. His skull was in fragments; he had profound brain damage. He had to rehabilitate for years to learn to walk and talk again and is still to this day somewhat impaired from that horrible beating. None of the four actually served more than four years in prison. If Reginald Denny had had a gun, he would have been absolutely justified under every principle of the law to shoot and kill all four of them.

eJournal: What if he misses and shoots someone standing nearby videotaping or just trying to get out of the area?

Ayoob: Well, here comes the problem. Reginald Denny has been the first to publicly thank the people who rescued him–all of whom were good, black people from that community who were horrified to see what was happening. So, now, you have been hit in the head and stunned. The guys attacking you happen to be black, and now you are surrounded by black folks. What if you shoot one of your own rescuers?

In Seattle, recently, you saw video of the courageous African American security guard who disarmed an AR 15 from the rioters who had taken it from a trashed, abandoned police car.

eJournal: If you were there, would you think he was an immediate threat to you?

Ayoob: You don’t know who’s who! You are going to have to be really careful. Do not be thinking that this is the amorphous mob that the lynch mob laws were talking about.

What you have got here are sharks that swam out of the ocean and there might be a little wave of good-faith protesters coming out of that ocean trying to pull the sharks off of you. You don’t know for sure. Target selection and target determination are going to be absolutely critical.

I see people that are saying, “Oh boy! I am going to start carrying my Krinkov 7.62x39 with my [gestures] wink, nudge wrist brace and that will be my car gun.” Well, son, you fire that inside the car with the windows up without any hearing protection, I guarantee you will suffer some degree of permanent hearing damage. If you are using military ball ammo, you’re going to kill at least two people and maybe three if you have a crowd behind.

eJournal: What are likely criminal charges for harming the people behind your intended target?

Ayoob: We all know that the single most common physiological altered perception that we are aware of is auditory exclusion—we don’t hear what other people are yelling because we are so focused on the threat. That is going to be increased profoundly by deafness–maybe temporary but probably permanent–from firing a high-powered weapon inside a closed vehicle, shooting from the inside of the car out. You cannot hear that the person behind them is screaming, “What are you doing? Get away from that car! You are making us all look bad!” You wound up killing that person, too. You previously posted on the Internet, “Boy, oh boy! Now I can get two or three with one shot.” If you did not care who was behind them and particularly if somebody’s iPhone shows the person behind them, the term for that in law is depraved indifference for human life.

eJournal: We are talking about murder.

Ayoob: We are, or at least manslaughter. A whole lot of people have not thought past playing Call of Duty or the next season of Walking Dead. Your other problem is getting caught in traffic because people are blocking the highways, if you do have to abandon the vehicle what are you going to do with the AR 15, what are you going to do with the Krinkov? People seeing you will think, “Oh my, there is a crazy man with a machine gun!” The cops might shoot you; an armed Antifa might say, “Here’s my chance!” and shoot you; maybe three football players who are present as protesters might jump you for the gun.

I would suggest staying with handguns. Just because vehicles might be involved, don’t look at it like a state trooper or FBI agent who is highly likely to have to fire deep penetrating bullets into an automobile. I would be looking at a crowd scenario from just the opposite angle and if I thought I had to go into a place like that during such a time, my 9mm load would not be 147 grain subsonic or the 124 grain +P bonded Gold Dot that I’m carrying today. I would probably be going with a 115 grain +P+ going at 1300 feet per second. With the 115, we’re looking at a wound track that is only about 10 inches long but very wide which is consistent with quicker debilitation. When you are in a crowd situation, you do not have a safe backstop, only the body of the offender. You have got to bear that in mind.

eJournal: The experience of shooting in a moving, jostling crowd is so far beyond the training and preparation of most, as to create a real disconnect between actual marksmanship ability and the realistic defensive shooting within the setting we are discussing today. I have to ask, if you decided to draw and introduce a gun into arm’s reach of a hostile, milling throng, what would you do? Draw to a retention position? A protected gun position? Low ready?

Ayoob: Well, I would not draw to Position Sul, because it traps both of my hands at the centerline. Drawing to retention would be better. If I don’t immediately intend to shoot, hand on the holstered gun with the other hand free to block and parry, I think, would be better yet.

eJournal: So, you don’t necessarily want that gun out until you have identified a threat you think you will have to shoot?

Ayoob: Well, remember that other people do not know who we are. Let’s say there are two or three well-intentioned protesters who came to march because they believed everything BLM said, and they want to do good. They’re well-intentioned, good human beings, but each of them is the size of a pro-football linebacker. They hear from behind them the scream, “He has got a gun!” They see you struggling with people who a few minutes ago were walking with them, who now are obviously in fear of you. You are going to have them on top of you because they will come to the conclusion that you are the fascist that Antifa warned them about or you are like the crazy, white racist who drove into a crowd of people in Charlottesville, VA, killing one and sending 19 more to the hospital. There is a whole lot of potential there for mistaken identity.

eJournal: What is your opinion about resorting to alternate weapons– perhaps pepper spray, batons where they’re legal, knives? In other words, in very crowded situations with large numbers of people, is the gun our best defense?

Ayoob: Certainly pepper spray. A baton big enough to fight with is hard to conceal. In some states, Florida for example, it is not a license to carry a handgun, it is a license to carry a weapon. There, you are allowed to carry concealed nunchaku, you are allowed to conceal a telescoping baton of the ASP type. Ask yourself, though, how much good is that going to do? Are you any good with that? Are you trained in it? How many people do you think you can fend off with it at once if three of them are jumping you and trying to get it away from you? A knife is not going to work too terribly well against a whole lot of folks, either. You might get two or three, but someone is going to come up on the sidewalk behind you with a brick and hit you in the head. With a gun, one of two things will happen. Either they will all flee at the sight of the gun or the sound of the shot, or they will try to be heroes and converge on you.

eJournal: How has shooting violent protesters worked out in the courts?

Ayoob: Here in WA, you saw the Hokoana trial. Mr. Hokoana was at a protest and some of the Antifa appeared to him to be roughing up people who he perceived as innocent. He wound up pepper spraying some of them, and at that point the big, buff, Antifa guy came at him. His wife perceived that man to be armed with a knife with which he was about to stab Hokoana. She drew her pistol and fired one shot, hitting the guy in the abdomen. He doubled over and she and her husband ran away.

I think his initial use of the pepper spray probably would have been justifiable, and I’ll tell you, being a little more familiar with that case than most, there is reason to believe she is telling the truth. If she is telling the truth, if she had shot that guy, stood her ground and stepped on the knife that he dropped before anybody could remove it from the scene, she would have had a much better argument for self defense than she did.

It was a five-week trial that cost a great deal of money and ended in a hung jury after the majority of the jury had wanted to convict. Mr. Hokoana had posted on social media that he was ready to “crack heads,” and said, “I am going to go full melee,” at a politically-charged event where I know there is going to be a demonstration, where I know Antifa are going to be and there is a real good chance that there is going to be violence, “I am going to go full melee.”

Someone asked him on social media if he was going to carry a gun and he said, “No, but my wife’s going to carry hers.” They went to a university setting that they knew is a gun free zone, intentionally breaking the law going there with a gun. I think she would have had a strong doctrine of competing harms argument except if you know there is going to be violence and you have an option, why did you go?

eJournal: It appears that by posting your intent to crack skulls and going, you agree to fight.

Ayoob: The Statute of Winchester about mutual combat from the middle of the last millennium, had the homicide se defendo principle. Part of that was, “Look, we are fed up with the flower of our young men from the dukes and the counts down to the poorest of the peasantry killing each other over arguments about bullshit pride. If two of you go out to fight, one of you will not get a pat on the back and the other a hole in the ground. The horizontal one will go to the hospital or the grave and the vertical one goes to jail.”

eJournal: Yes, you are both responsible.

Ayoob: When you agreed to fight, your mutual combat voids the mantle of innocence. It shreds the mantle of innocence.

eJournal: Was Ms. Hokoana, deciding to go despite knowing about the plans to fight, innocent?

Ayoob: Well, her argument could have been, “My husband wanted to go, so I figured I had better go to protect him.” I think if she had made that argument, that would have been understood under the doctrine of competing harms, the doctrine of necessity, the doctrine of two evils. It did not come across that way to the jury. The jurors said afterwards, we simply did not find her testimony credible. That was made worse because the couple fled after the shooting so you had the “flight equals guilt” thing going.

Tremendous social pressure had been applied. Right now, the Antifa and BLM and such are favored by politicians and most of the media. If it looks like you went there to fight these poor, downtrodden people, you’ll be cast as the bad guy.

You cannot expect to get too much sympathy and you cannot expect to get too many of your friends and like-minded people on the jury.

eJournal: I would like to ask about fleeing from ongoing danger after a shooting. I could understand feeling so alone and threatened by large numbers of violent protesters converging on the person who shot their comrade that running away to a safer location could look like a pretty good option. If you shoot to defend against attack by a member of a mob and decide to retreat to a safe place, how do you defuse the “flight equals guilt” perception you identified as part of the reason the woman in your real-life example was unable to convince a jury of her innocence?

Ayoob: Gila, I don’t know of a really good answer for that. If they had picked up the knife they said the Antifa guy dropped, someone who just heard the shot might see that just in time to conclude that they were planting a “drop knife” on an unarmed man. They’d be running with a knife in hand, and they’d be obscuring fingerprints and DNA evidence. Would they have time to pull out their smart phone and take a picture of the dropped knife? Probably not. You would have to assess the crowd. If they’re backing off, stand your ground and straddle the attacker’s dropped weapon.

Are there other people there who are on your side? In another case where a young man shot a protester-turned-rioter who was chasing him and trying to smash him in the head with a skateboard, a group of conservative sympathizers surrounded the shooter and protected him from the downed man’s compatriots until the police could get there to take control of the scene. Will that be possible in something like this that one of your readers could get caught up in? We just don’t know.

eJournal: What is the likely outcome for some poor, unfortunate person, maybe a businessman who is just walking home from work, not realizing what is building up around him, who just gets caught up in a riot and becomes a target for the violent members of the mob? Can he shoot to avoid having his head bashed in?

Ayoob: If it came upon you that quickly, you still have your innocence maintained. You are the victim, caught up in the maelstrom by fate. What I would suggest, though, if you are walking to work you would kind of notice, “Uh oh, something is kind of happening up ahead.” Now would be a really good time to go into some place that is safe, make some phone calls to get help and to find out what is happening, and stay there where it is safe.

If you are driving, there is an app called Waze which, so long as it knows where you are going, warns and alerts you to traffic jams and other problems ahead. If the streets are blocked by protesters, rioters, or just by construction workers, you are hopefully going to know in time to avoid it.

eJournal: What if bad luck strikes, your smart phone is dead so your app doesn’t help, or you can’t exit the freeway in time? Is it enough just to have a gun in the car? Just last week I corresponded with a man who drives over a bridge going to his office, and because he is going to work, has his gun in his briefcase. How he carries was not the focus of his question, but it made me wonder how well he would be able to take care of himself in a riot. What say you? Gun on body? Gun in bag?

Ayoob: Gun on body! If it is in the bag it is going to be much slower to get out. If you have to step out of the vehicle, you can’t reach the gun when you need it, and if you are separated from the vehicle, which is probably now unlocked with an open door, someone else is going to get it.

eJournal: The idea of getting out of the car at all is kind of chilling, but I’m not sure the popular suggestion to drive through a mass of protesters is going to work out well, either.

Ayoob: If you are in a car, I have a couple of suggestions. In every case we have seen of someone driving out of it, we are seeing again and again people being charged for doing so, even though the people were blocking them illegally and they had very articulatable reason to believe they might be dragged out of that car and beaten if they didn’t. There is one thing none of them did, and I hope all of our members and readers get this: if you have got to drive out of a mob turn on your damned flashers and lay on your damned horn! These are universal signals of emergency traffic coming through and let that be seen on all of those dozens of iPhone videos: you were in emergency mode, trying to get out of the way, telling people, “Get out of the way, I am afraid.”

eJournal: What speed? Just chugging through at five miles an hour or moving more quickly?

Ayoob: You have got to remember that different vehicles have different safety devices. Some airbags will only trigger with an impact of 14 miles an hour; some will trigger lighter. This brings us to the interesting case in Michigan of the lady in a parking lot dispute that was started by the other people. She got out of the car finally and pulled a gun, so everybody was saying, “Well, gee, why couldn’t she just back out and drive away?”

One, the primary assailant was at the back of the car pounding on it. Two, I spoke with John Correia who told me he had spoken with those folks (video posted at and she said they had what she called the nanny program on in the car. If the car senses a human being behind it, it will stop and you cannot override it. Apparently, that is what happened in that situation.

eJournal: Does a violent protester breaking a car’s side window or windshield pose such a threat to the car’s occupants as to justify use of deadly force to stop him or her?

Ayoob: In my opinion, you are justified although that might not be the opinion of the prosecutor. My opinion is based on the reason that they are trying to invade the passenger compartment. Why are they breaking the window? Why do you crack the walnut? You crack it to get what’s inside and consume it. It is not reasonable and prudent to believe anything else.

Many states have passed laws that said the Castle Doctrine that protects you inside your home extends to inside your vehicle. The car is treated like a domicile. Even in states where that is not the black letter law, the situation is clear.

Antifa are now carrying the emergency rescue glass breakers and that brings me to the other safety equipment I am now keeping my car: a pair of safety glasses for every passenger and I keep a pair of active hearing protectors in my vehicle. I know that cops shooting through their windshields in desperate situations do suffer some degree of permanent hearing loss. This, of course, would go to the power of 10 for the people with the short-barreled .223 AR pistols and such.

We have both participated in tactical vehicle penetration tests. You know when you shoot a windshield, some of the glass spall will come toward the direction of the shot, meaning that if you are shooting from the inside shooting out, you are still going to get some of the glass back in your face. That happens so quickly there is not time for the eyelids to blink and block it, and anyway eyelids will not block much.

If the rioters are throwing projectiles–rocks and such–into the car, the spall from the broken glass is going to come into the car. In a worst case scenario, injury from the glass could cause permanent blindness. Usually I don’t wear glasses, but you’ll notice I have been wearing glasses any time I am in a car. Even before I became a cop, I had seen car crashes where the windshield disintegrated. The theory is that if the windshield disintegrates into tiny pellets, you’re less likely to be decapitated by a large shard of glass. But those pellets come flying through the passenger compartment. The eye protection is for the threat from the outside or danger from the inside going out.

eJournal: I have a question. If we have established that breaking windows to reach people in a car’s passenger compartment poses a true, immediate danger to life…

Ayoob: In my opinion it does, but that might not be the opinion of the prosecutor who is an elected official. These things are tending to happen in the “Blue” cities that elect the “Blue” officials. If we have a district attorney who wants to keep getting his campaign donations for reelection from George Soros like the prosecutor in Saint Louis does, or from Michael Bloomberg, he is not going to see it as they are cracking the walnut to get at the meat inside and devour it, he is going to see it as, “Oh, you killed them for vandalizing your car.”

eJournal: If we are blocked in and unable to drive away and rioters are breaking into cars adjacent to ours, at what point do we perceive that threat as extending to the occupants of our car?

Ayoob: Well, when it turns toward you, it is coming to get you. If I see two guys who look a lot alike and one is breaking into the other guy’s car, I am not getting involved. I don’t know who is who! Most of us would jump to the conclusion that it is a rioter or a carjacker but know this: one thing we may be seeing in these riots, is gangbangers using all the tumult and absence of law enforcement to kill other gang bangers. If they are coming toward me and I am seeing them doing that to others, all the bets are off and I will do what I have to do.

eJournal: So, it becomes a question of “when?” Will you wait until they have begun striking the car?

Ayoob: If they are hitting the car, that may render escape impossible depending on the kinds of weapons they are using. If that is happening, I will engage. I was involved in one case in Florida, not a riot, that involved a group of hostile people who were attacking a young man in his car. One of them allegedly was hitting the vehicle with a baseball bat. The other, with a bare fist, punched through the safety glass of the side window and hit the driver in the head. The driver took his .38, shot him in the chest and killed him. He finally got his car in reverse and got out of there.

He was charged with manslaughter for killing an unarmed man. Our defense team won an acquittal for him on the manslaughter charge, but that case did not have the political overtones. There was no cross racial element and there was no political gain.

eJournal: A question about windows: windows up, windows down, windows open a tiny amount?

Ayoob: I would suggest windows very slightly down. Some people tell me that rolling the window down just an inch will actually give it a greater tensile strength and resistance, but it also lets you better hear what is going on outside. One problem with the windows being rolled up, particularly if you have the radio going, the air conditioning going or in the winter, the heater going, is that you end up in an almost silent bubble.

eJournal: Mas, this is such a big subject! I am worried that I have failed to ask you about important topics. What should be our biggest take away? What would help us be best prepared in this time of increased danger?

Ayoob: Follow the news and follow what is happening. Know what the trends are. Gila, my final advice, and I think the best advice I can find, comes from the poet and humorist Ogden Nash, “When called by a panther, don’t ‘anther.’”

eJournal: Stay away, run away, don’t engage! All good strategies, and seriously, you have outlined a lot of areas of risk that we may not have previously identified, offered options for defense that we might not have considered, and emphasized not answering that panther by not voluntarily going to where protests are under way. Thank you for all of your time and knowledge!

Network Advisory Board member Massad Ayoob is author of Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense which is distributed in the member education package for all Network members. He has additionally authored several dozen books and hundreds of articles on firearms, self defense and related topics. Of these, Massad has authored multiple editions of Gun Digest’s Book of Concealed Carry.

Since 1979, he has received judicial recognition as an expert witness for the courts in weapons and shooting cases, and was a fully sworn and empowered, part time police officer for over forty years at ranks from patrolman through captain. Ayoob founded the Lethal Force Institute in 1981 and served as its director until 2009, and now trains through Massad Ayoob Group. Learn more at or read his blog at

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