Marty Hayes

by Marty Hayes, J.D.

This has been an extremely busy month at the Network and especially for me. This column will be somewhat personal in that I am going to tell you about a medical issue that I have been dealing with for six months. I have worked around an increasing serious spinal issue that took more and more of my left arm function and created considerable pain. In the late summer, I began preparing for and recently underwent spinal surgery. That’s the bad news!

The good news is that surgery took place three weeks ago and I am now on the mend and to all appearances, I am doing pretty good and should end up with an interesting scar once the staples come out. Also, in the “good news” column is the fact that I was able to work through the pain and fulfill my responsibilities, so no one had to step in and take care of my Network duties for me.

ZipperWorking Through the Pain

Part of my work entailed going to Live Oak, FL at the end of August to teach a five-day Use of Deadly Force Instructor course with Massad Ayoob. This course is one of the highlights of my teaching career. I sincerely hope that our efforts to help to prepare new instructors will pay off in the months and years to follow.

Over the past several months, I’ve also continued to write my monthly column, along with an occasional feature article for Gun Digest ( The monthly column is entitled “Drawing Conclusions” – the title is not my choice – and it deals with issues that I see in the armed citizen’s response to stimuli and subsequent use of deadly force. Many of the cases that I choose to highlight are basically examples of poor decision making. I pick apart what went wrong and why. I would rather be teaching and writing about how to do it right, but at times negative examples are really the best way to pinpoint a problem.

Thoughts During Recovery

Over the past three weeks, as I have been sitting and recuperating from surgery, I have been giving more and more thought to the endgame and how to phase out my day-to-day duties at the Network. I have identified the need to look for my replacement to take over my daily duties here and, of course, to carry a healthy and active Network forward into the future, assuring its sustainability beyond the efforts and successes of just one or two individuals.

Good plans are firming up, although Gila, Vincent and I are not yet ready to announce these changes. I wish we could! I am confident that when we do announce the next phase of the Network’s evolution, you will share our anticipation of strong, continuing success for the Network and fulfillment of its mission long after the three of us are no longer involved in day-to-day work on behalf of our members.

Until then, don’t forget about me, and stay tuned as I champion our organization into what we have jokingly been calling Network 2.0. I look forward to being able to share all the details with you in the months to come. 

To read more of this month's journal, please click here.