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Armed at Home: Strategic Realities
An Interview with Massad Ayoob
Interview by Gila Hayes
Live in a bad neighborhood? Been subjected to threats of violence? Does the nightly news have you worried about home invasions? These and many other reasons may lead the armed citizen to think that answering the door with a gun in hand is the best solution to an unexpected knock on the door late a night. Network Advisory Board member Massad Ayoob says, “Don’t do that!” That may seem counter-intuitive until one probes deeper into issues identified through Ayoob’s depth of experience and training, as well as the strong legal-concerns viewpoint he brings to his use of force classes. Ayoob is trainer of international reputation, court recognized expert witness on use of force matters, and author of over 20 books, plus countless magazine articles and recorded lectures.
In the following interview, Ayoob details court cases stemming from armed citizens going to the door with a gun in hand to respond to an unexpected knock or to investigate suspicious noises outside the door. We switch now to our Q & A format to preserve the clarity of Ayoob’s observations.
eJournal: I was a little surprised when this topic came up, Mas, because on the surface, it is pretty easy to understand one who is not a deep thinker subscribing to the idea of a gun in the hand when opening the door as a reasonable response to crime. What cases support your advice to certainly be armed and ready, but keep your hands empty?
Ayoob: We had one in 2012 in Lake County, FL. The police officers are looking for a very dangerous suspect and knocked on this fellow’s door. He is aware, apparently, that there is a manhunt underway for said dangerous subject and he opens the door with a gun in his hand. The deputies perceived the gun pointed at them, and they drew their weapons, opened fire and killed him. That would have been July of 2012 in Lake County, FL.
by Marty Hayes, J.D.
We are looking forward to some very good things this coming year. We are closing in on having $1,000,000 (that’s one million dollars, folks) in the Legal Defense Fund, despite needing to fund a defense for a member this month. Membership totals are also closing in on the 13,000 mark, which is just phenomenal. One thing that really helped last month was getting a mention on the Hickok45 You Tube channel. The star of the show, Hickok45, is a Network member and out of the blue, he posted a segment about the Network and why he joined. Our phones started ringing off the hook, and we had a wild week in the office following that mention. Goes to show you the power of word of mouth advertising and social medial. We welcome the several hundred new members joining us last month.
Attorney Question of the Month
This month, we explore an interesting question with several affiliated attorneys in hopes of better understanding the challenges attorneys face when arguing a self-defense case at trial. Upon the suggestion of one of our Affiliated attorneys, we asked–
How many of our affiliated attorneys have been involved in self-defense cases where they have made motions to the court for a jury visit to the crime scene? What issues were they attempting to resolve with the visit? What sort of success did they have with the court in getting the motion granted? What limitations were they confronted with during the visit?
Watch Your Back:
How to Avoid the Most Dangerous Moments in Daily Life
by Roger Eckstine
Skyhorse Publishing (Sept. 20, 2016)
8”x10” Paperback, color illustrations, 192 pages
$17.99 paperback; $9.99 Kindle
Reviewed by Gila Hayes
A few weekends ago, I spent an enjoyable, rainy Sunday afternoon reading Roger Eckstein’s Watch Your Back: How to Avoid the Most Dangerous Moments in Daily Life. This book is an unusual treatment of the fundamentals of personal safety, written in an extremely cerebral manner, but then illustrated by real-life strategies. In his opening chapter, the author notes that Watch Your Back picks up and expands into personal defense topics that weren’t germane to his Shooter’s Bible title, Guide to Home Defense. This book’s academic approach is offset with lavish color photos and by examples from many other life pursuits, like safety equipment embraced by race car drivers, for example.
News from our Affiliates
Compiled by Josh Amos
This month, I get to write my column on someone of whom I am a big fan. How great is that? We came into the Armed Citizens’ Network office several Fridays ago and the phones were buzzing and emails were falling like the rain too often does here in Washington State. It took us a minute to work it out, but we soon learned that the Armed Citizens’ Network was the subject to a favorable review by the one and only Hickok 45 on his YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGctxhqkP10.
For those of you who don’t know, Hickok 45 is the online handle of popular gun commentator who for the past ten years has been reviewing a very wide range of guns and ammunition on YouTube. He has a great, down to earth, yet expert style that has earned him millions of followers. Quite frankly, I, myself, am a big fan. I like Hickok 45’s style and his reviews have helped me avoid making some…shall we say…impetuous purchases.
by Gila Hayes
In February, the Network enjoyed an unexpected jump above our usual growth. As can happen with exposure to a new market, we saw an interesting trend in the questions from folks who wanted to know about membership. Their questions reveal the worries and concerns of a new demographic.
Predominant in this latest round of queries was concern about whether the Network would assist with legal expenses after a member uses a non-gun option in self defense. The folks asking the question have progressed beyond the immature idea, “I’ve got a gun. What else could I possibly need?” and it was nice to answer questions from serious people who have really thought through their self-defense options.