Training Despite Challenges

MassadAyoobAn Interview with Massad Ayoob

Interview by Gila Hayes

After we publish an interview or column advising members to participate in on-going documented training as preparation to weather the legal aftermath of self defense, members often express genuine concern because they do not believe they can complete firearms courses due to age, physical infirmity or disability and the severe budgetary constraints that too often attends the limited income available to a disabled citizen.

In light of the many years Massad Ayoob has taught firearms and self defense, I turned to him with the concerns expressed by these members and we recorded this short interview to share Massad’s suggestions and recommendations in his own words.

eJournal: As Network members are well aware, we put a high value on documented training for armed citizens who may at some point have to use force in self defense. Every time the training topic comes up, we get feedback from people for whom completing a standard two- or four-day defensive handgun class is all but impossible. We aren’t talking about the guy who qualified for his carry license permit class and thought that was enough; we’re talking about age, chronic illness or a permanent physical impairment. These same men and women need the gun for self defense and find it frustrating to be advised to participate in training they feel is beyond their physical ability.

I’ve wanted for some time to discuss the problems these members face with an expert trainer, and Massad, with 46 years’ experience teaching self-defense firearms use, you’ve taught many people with serious disabilities and seen these good people come to class, learn, succeed and take away the knowledge and experience one of your courses imparts.

Ayoob: Yes, we pride ourselves on being able to adapt our techniques for the physically-challenged student. As you know, we have taught a number of folks in wheelchairs, one-armed people, one-legged people and people with pretty severe arthritis. What we do is kind of like an injured person driving a car: we adapt the techniques and we adapt the machinery.

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President’s Message

Marty eJournal column pix

 by Marty Hayes, J.D.

We have a couple of things to discuss this month. First, a big thank you to retiring Network Affiliated Attorney Royce Ferguson, from Everett, WA. He wrote to me the other day and said that he was cutting criminal defense out of his practice, as it takes too much time and he wants to retire! (I know the feeling). I have known Royce for close to 30 years, and he has been my go-to guy in the Seattle area all that time. He was one of our first Network Affiliated Attorneys and is one of the two attorneys discussing defending a self-defense case on our third Network DVD.

People like to speak harshly of attorneys in general, but Royce has always been a stellar member of the bar, willing to help people regardless of the financial reward. I worked with him on several cases, even those outside my legal expertise.

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Attorney Question of the Month


This month's question comes from a Network member who is also a firearms instructor. He asked--

If a Network member is accompanied by a friend or family member at the time of an armed self-defense incident, is it preferable that the 9-1-1 call be made by the associate? Why or why not? What information should the associate provide to the police dispatchers?

Marc S. Russo
25 Plaza Street West #1-K, Brooklyn NY 11238
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I would say by the friend or family member–as long as one trusts them, and they specify to responding police that the good guy is armed. That way the good guy can focus on the immediate threat.

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Book Review

FBI Miami Firefight:

Five Minutes that Changed the Bureau

By Edmundo and Elizabeth Mireles
ISBN 9780999510308
$14.99 at

In the decades since the FBI’s April 11, 1986 shoot out with two heavily armed robbers in Miami, FL, many have forgotten the deaths of that day and the heroism of FBI Agent Edmundo Mireles. These lessons should not be lost. At the 2018 NRA Annual Meeting, friends mentioned reading advance copies of a book on the shootout by Mireles himself. A Google search turned up the retired agent’s book, modestly self-published, and I ordered it immediately.

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News from our Affiliates


by Josh Amos

Hello everyone! It has been awhile since I have checked in with you. The Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network is growing steadily and that is due in large part to our Network affiliates’ efforts.

Affiliate Instructors and Gun Stores

Our Network affiliates are doing a great job of telling armed citizens about the Network and giving out our Foundation’s booklet What Every Gun Owner Needs to Know About Self-Defense Law to students and customers. Furthermore, our affiliates are also doing a great job of reaching the people who share the Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network’s core values of –

1) Responsibility
2) Education and
3) Quality training.

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Editor's Notebook


There have been a lot of jokes made over the past few years about people feeling a strong identification with one ethnic group or gender. Frankly, some of the jokes were quite humorous in expressing how an individual’s choice of identification was allowed to eclipse the reality of actual gender, race or–as the jokes took on a life of their own–alternative species. It has made me think about how people like to describe themselves through nicknames, nom de guerres, handles, pseudonyms and digital identities.

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About this Journal


The eJournal of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc. is published monthly on the Network’s website at Content is copyrighted by the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc.

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