Human beings have personalized their weapons since the first caveman made his mark on his club.  I get it.  I own guns that have my name engraved on them. I have a few with serial numbers personalized with my initials, “MFA-1.”  

What I DON’T have are guns bearing bullshit macho insignia. 

And if you are wise, you shouldn’t either.

Here is a case in point, from the Ayoob Files series I’ve been doing every issue of American Handgunner magazine for the last few decades. 


  1. I’ve seen a few examples of this kind of thing. In a couple of cases where I knew the person, it sort of figured, not the sharpest knives in the drawer kind of thing. Punisher logo handgun grips being a good example.

    I may be over doing it, but having collected a lot of hats/shirts from training and/or competitions, about the only place I wear them is if I’m at a range/match.

  2. Sergeant Charles Langley has done more damage to the reputations of police officers than the good deeds of 10,000 good cops could repair.

    He is now retired in the Philippines living on his taxpayer-provided pension. Disgusting.

    If “Langley remained calm and professional, going to command voice only when initial commands were not followed”, then there is something seriously rotten in police training. Langley and his gang showed up, escalated the situation and executed a man for the crime of being drunk and trying to comply with confusing directions. I don’t want any such people anywhere close to the field of law enforcement.

    I respect Mas, but I have yet to come across even a single article where he fully admits that police screwed up.

    • He was shot, as you can see on the bodycam video of the shooting readily available on YouTube, because his right hand went to his hip in a movement consistent with reaching for a hidden pistol.

      • I too, saw the footage. the man killed buy the cop eager to use his customized AR variant obviously reached to pull up his loss fitting , baggy shorts, which were, in fact, at that point so far off of his waist that they posed an encumbrance to his forward progress while attempting to follow screamed directions form two officers present. They could have had him freeze and prone out at any point to be cuffed while covered by the other. Yes, when looked at critically, it was NOT necessary to kill the man, by Sgt. Machogunner apparently, from his actions, from his “Simon says” instructions ( you know, the directions given with the subject’s FAILURE in mind? Crawl with his legs crossed? What is he, an octopus? ) WANTED to. A bad shoot all the way around.

      • The trouble is that everything is consistent with reaching for a hidden pistol, every time. The man was drunk and was given commands impossible for any sober person to comply with. His blood is on the hands of Sergeant Charles Langley.

        Hopefully, he is successfully sued and his pension is part of the settlement.

    • You can say that again, and it will be said again in the future. the man is Full Badge-Blind; cannot see things objectively when a Badge is involved. Proves it when he rejects fact based viewpoints he finds inconvenient or unflattering. Just Saying. Again.

    • Yes, I lay the blame for Shaver’s unnecessary death on Sgt. Langley as well, not Brailsford.

      He gave conflicting and difficult commands.

      When asked if he was drunk, Shaver said no. Yet his post-mortem BAC was 3 times the legal limit.

      In this very write-up, Langley tells Sahver to do nothing but move toward them, then he is not to move, then if he does move, that will be considered a threat. Additionally, when Shaver is trying to reply to Langley, he is told that this isn’t a conversation.

      I’m not sure that I could keep things straight and I don’t drink.

      What do concealed carriers get for advice on interactions with police? Speak with the officer so that you know how the officer wants you to proceed (with ID, permit, etc.).

      As noted by others, I have read Mas’ articles and books for decades and I have taken his MAG 40 twice. I am aware that drawing a hidden gun can be lightning quick (like the arcade case). Also as noted, Shaver could have been instructed to speak eagle where all limbs could be watched and another officer could have check the room.

      This man did not have to die.

      Brailford’s modifications to his dust cover was nearly an unrelated point in the Shaver death. Is was only an issue with the department and to be handled in his defense. Langford was in charge of the team. This was his fault.

  3. “Many officers have reported their departments are now using this bodycam video as a negative teaching example for their own personnel. I know I would have a hell of a time crawling forward with my ankles crossed as Shaver was commanded to do. That said, Langley remained calm and professional, going to command voice only when initial commands were not followed, and it is hard to find culpable error in that…”

    I remember this case. We have discussed it before on this very blog. Despite the above justification, I do find fault with the police response in this case and, especially, with the Sergeant’s commands and overall leadership during this incident. The Police had nothing more than a report of a “Man with a Gun” in this case. There had been no “shots fired”, no overt threats of violence, no raised voices or angry dispute. People travel with and handle firearms all the time. There is a 2nd Amendment to our Constitution that recognizes our Natural Right to be armed.

    Yet, the response in this case was a FULL-BLOWN police response with multiple offices with AR-15’s in hand. Effectively, a SWAT team response in-fact if not in name. The Police response would not have been any different if they had been informed that an armed and dangerous killer had escaped from prison and was hiding in the Hotel. They went in on MAXIMUM alert and, in my opinion, the Sergeant-in-Charge did little or nothing to deescalate the sky-high tension. He had his team hyped up and ready to kill at the slightest wrong move.

    Well, sure enough, the dazed man crawling on the floor did make that wrong move and the kill response, set to go off on a hair-trigger BY THE SERGEANT, did go off. I don’t blame the police officer who fired the fatal shots. I understand why he was acquitted. Rather, I blame the team leadership who seemed convinced that they had walked into a highly dangerous situation and should not take the least risk to deescalate it.

    The entire Police response in this case was an over-reaction to a “Man with a Gun” Call.

    I load firearms into my vehicle all the time to go to the range. I certainly hope that none of my neighbors phone in a “Man with a Gun” complaint if this is a typical Police response. I rather suspect that it is not typical, and for that reason, this is being used as a negative training example. It does illustrate the benefits of de-escalation.

    As for the main point given above, to wit, don’t doctor up your firearms with silly slogans, I agree with that. However, in today’s environment, you can be demonized, by Anti-gun Prosecutors, for much less than that. Simply using an AR-15, like Rittenhouse, can get you blamed. You are GUILTY of using a DEADLY ASSUALT WEAPON-OF-WAR designed for the sole purpose of KILLING other Human-beings in the eyes of the Leftists and their Media Attack-dogs.

    Their methods are always the same:

    1) Identify a segment of the firearm’s market that may be venerable to attack.
    2) Label the firearms in this segment with a catchy, negative term so as to demonize them.
    3) Craft a narrative that portrays these demonized firearms as a deadly threat to public safety.
    4) Use their media propagandists to spread the negative label and narrative far-and-wide. Pound it into the public mind every hour of every day for weeks and months. Try to create a “movement” to “address” the “dangers” of the demonized firearms.
    5) Finally, when the pressure has built enough, push for legislation to ban or limit the firearms in that segment.

    The Ant-gunners have been using the above tactics to do piecemeal attacks on firearms for decades. It is the old “divide and conquer” strategy. They coined “Saturday Night Special” and got the Gun Control of 1968 passed. They coined “Assault Weapon”, got a 10-Year ban at the Federal level (since expired) and are still using the term to push for more bans. “Cop-Killer Bullet” was used to go after ammunition production. There are many more examples of the technique.

    The new one is “Ghost Gun”. It is the latest market segment demonized by the Left and the Firearm-Prohibitionists.

    Tell me Mas, what would be the result of someone using a home-built firearm for home defense? Suppose one used an AR built with an 80% lower. That would be a double-bang (pardon the pun) for the banners. An “Assault weapon” and a “Ghost Gun” all rolled up into one!

    How about a Glock 19 clone built using an 80% frame?

    Any case law regarding so-called “Ghost Guns”? What would likely happen if one was used for home defense? Would it vary depending upon Blue State versus Red State law?

    • One of the males in Shaver’s hotel room had been seen pointing the scoped (air) rifle out the window at people. This is what triggered the level of response which took place.

      • Was he truly pointing the air rifle at people? Or was he just pointing it out the window and looking through the scope.

        It is a natural human response. Hand most people a scoped rifle, tell them that it is unloaded or, even better, only an air rifle, and their first response is likely to shoulder the gun and look through the scope at something in the distance. I will grant that it is, perhaps, an unwise response in a populated urban area but a human response just the same.

        You see my point? Was there actually a threat here? Was he actually pointing it at people? I expect that we will never know. All we know is that someone (who seems to have remained nameless) PERCEIVED a threatening action and reported it as such.

        The police did not seem to consider the ambiguity of the report that they had received. The idea that the report might have been false or a misperception never seems to have crossed their minds. As far as they were concerned, a dangerous sniper was loose in the hotel and strong measures were REQUIRED to deal with it. Seize control first! Worry about investigation or deescalation later!

        Not quite a “shoot first and ask questions later” response but in that ballpark.

        Well, it is all a matter of opinion at this point. The law has spoken and I guess the criminal case is settled. Shaver’s parents settled a civil suit, against the city, for $1.5 million. His widow refused to settle and her civil suit, for $75 million, is still ongoing. Brailsford had to file for bankruptcy. See this link:

        Seems awfully expensive for a “Clean Shooting”, Mas. In fact, the only person to escape unscathed seems to be the person that I hold most responsible for this mess, Sergeant Charles Langley. That seems to be about “par for the course” in America today!

        In any event, you have your views on this case (which I respect) and I have mine.

        What about my other questions, Mas? How dangerous do you think it would be, given the demonization of home-built firearms by the Anti-gunners, for someone to use a so-called “Ghost Gun” in self-defense? Do you think it will carry the same kind of negatives (or even worse!) that using an AR-style weapon would bring? Assume that ownership of the “Ghost Gun” was legal in the State where the incident occurred.

      • You can definitely expect an attack on a “ghost gun” if you haven’t put a serial number on it.

      • I am even more convinced that no threat was ever intended with that air rifle. Consider this news article:

        From this article:

        “Nuñez began to talk to Shaver, who invited the two into his room for a shot of rum, Portillo said. Once inside, Portillo asked if Shaver played a musical instrument because she noticed a large case, she said.

        Shaver said no and took out the pellet gun, which Portillo said looked like a hunting rifle. By this time, she had poured two shots of rum for Shaver and Nuñez, but she doesn’t remember if Nuñez or Shaver drank them, she said.

        Shaver then showed Nuñez the gun, Portillo said, and they were looking through the rifle’s scope as the gun was pointed toward the window, she said. She closed the window’s drapes and pushed the gun away from the window as Nuñez held it, she said.

        ‘Hey, guys, don’t be so close to the window, people may get the wrong idea,’ Portillo recalled telling the men.

        ‘It was like a toy to them,’ she told the 11-member jury.”

        This sounds like two guys who’s brains were badly fuzzed by rum. Truly, alcohol and firearms (in this case, even air-rifles) don’t mix. I don’t believe any threat was intended at all.

        Just a case of some hoplophobe spotting someone with a rifle in their room and then pushing the “Panic Button”. Unfortunately, due to the excessive police response plus alcohol plus plain old human stupidity, one man dies and the lives of several other people were badly hurt.

    • This is literally their *written* playbook that they’ve been using since at least the 1980s going for “creeping incrementalism” to eat the elephant one bite at a time.

      I’ve toyed with the ideas of a few “vanity guns” over the decades, but I was unable to develop the skills fast enough or figure out a legal avenue to make things happen before the individuals involved passed away–for example, wanting to craft each of the surviving Flying Tigers at the time a 1911 finished to match that man’s personal P-40. I’m sure some garbage Ambulance Chaser would try to spin the AVG sharkmouth as a “statement of aggression” rather than an intent to commemorate a war hero’s service…

    • Too charitable. SOMEHOW, the officers present saw their way clear to use appropriate methods and did NOT kill the woman involved. Scarred for life emotionally, yes. But not killed. OH yes. Sorry about the typo in my previous reply to another point.

  4. Yeah just remember only police officers can etch the matcho BS on their AR15s , like police officer Philip “Mitch” Brailsford who etched “you’re f@cked” on his dept issued AR14 he used to execute an innocent unarmed Texas man, murder innocent Americans and bot only get away with it but get preferential treatment and have that evidence withheld! Thanks to domestic enemy Bill Barr who successfully fought for qualified immunity for the FBI and USMS murderers on Ruby Ridge who then went on a mass murder spree in Waco Texas that eventually led the way for police to get away with murder that We the People would never get away with.
    Before the sheep start crying I’m ex NYC Housing Authority Police PSA-1/1A and NYPD PBSI, 122.

    • An interesting and informative comment, Biker Bob.

      Depending on one’s POV, the event Mas portrays in this article shares elements of those tragic events at Ruby Ridge, most notably the execution of Randy Weaver’s wife (while holding her baby, I believe?) and son (14 years old, I believe?). Yes, I know that a law officer had been murdered by one of Weaver’s clan or friends, but the question remains as to whether or not the executions of those two particular individuals were justified AND necessary.

      Did the wife and son really pose an immediate threat to those surrounding the cabin? Given time (they had plenty, the one exception being politicized and PR pressure from those in authority above them), could their safe release have been negotiated? Perhaps, perhaps not. (Guess she could have been packing a handgun in that baby’s diaper…???) After all, Weaver himself emerged with his life.

      I don’t support criminals, period. But the origins leading up to this event–the set up involving the creation of an illegal sawed off shotgun (which Weaver fell for and committed a crime in doing so)–set into motion a series of tragic events. Oddly, this seems to be a tactic similar to that used in some instances for busting drug criminals. I’m all for busting drug criminals, yet use of such tactics (including “honey pots”) reek at “inventing” a crime first and then “plugging” in the criminal later. (I know, they justify the use of such tactics as enabling the eventual apprehension of bigger criminals up the line, but…) Odd too is the fact that any law-abiding citizen can readily and legally purchase a short NFA shotgun these days.

      Naively, up until the general timeframe of Ruby Ridge, I saw many more things in black and white (including most cop cars during that era), but was shaken with a hard dose of reality after learning of the politics being played behind the scenes in that event, and repeated at Waco (again, crimes involved that I’m not justifying) progressing and seemingly intensifying into the present time and signaling the increasing politicization and distortion of what I once viewed as a valid “equal justice under the law,” to which all US citizens were subject. So, the black and whites patrol cars have vanished into Mayberry lore, and I recall a quote from that period from “Cool Hand Luke,” one less famed than the one which generally comes to mind from that great film, “Calling it a job don’t make it right, boss.”

      Best wishes.

      • Glenn, you need to dig into the Ruby Ridge thing a bit deeper, and while you’re at it, look up the word “execution.” It does not mean what you seem to think it means.

      • FBI issued illegal orders to its men on the scene that they could shoot any armed males. In the absence of any imminent threat, this was in fact an execution.

        FBI HRT sniper Lon Horiuchi acted on these orders to shoot Weaver and his friend Harris, and the bullet for Harris also struck and killed an unarmed Vicki Weaver who was holding her 10-month old baby.

        None of these FBI agents have suffered ANY consequences for their illegal shootings.

      • Timeline was more complicated. US Marshalls came out to serve a warrant, apparently a FTA on the shotgun charge. Instead of walking up and serving the warrant, they decided (for reasons unknown to me) on a tactical approach, infiltrating through the woods surrounding the cabin. Their approach was detected by one of the dogs. Testimony was that they thought an animal was out there. (Note: I have camped within a few miles of there and there are definitely both griz and wolves around a well as numerous game animal.) So Harris and Sammy Weaver exited the cabin to check it out. Harris was carrying a bolt action 30-06, consistent with the testimony about an animal. The dog found one of the Marshalls who shot the dog. Sammy Weaver then opened fire on the person unknown who had just shot his dog. One of the other Marshalls then shot and killed Sammy Weaver as he was retreating. Harris then killed one of the Marshalls. Vicky Weaver was shot by the FBI in a later confrontation. There was conflicting testimony about the who fired first but the jury in the criminal trial accepted the above theory and acquitted Harris.

  5. Maybe he wanted to scratch his ass.
    The problem is… to many cops are pussies.
    I believe a weapon has to be produced to be a credible threat. He can’t shoot you or cause bodily harm until a weapon is produced or introduced.
    We’ve spent the last 20 years putting them on a pedestal and told they are your saviors and can do no wrong.
    Which was the purpose of 9/11 and the installment of DHS. To assume their ” ultimate authority”.
    Street level law enforcement are the ” bottom rung” of the judicial system, not the be all , end all , with final disposition authority.

    • Desert Warrior,
      Setting aside your obvious dislike of police officers, you obviously don’t know how fast someone can draw and fire a gun once their draw movement is underway.

      • In this particular instance, I believe you are reaching too far into a bag of “maybes and what if’s” Mas. I offer the following example, gleaned from your article, “The sergeant’s testimony, available for study in detail on YouTube, was given the layout of the hallway and unknown factors as to who else could be in Shaver’s room or another nearby with a weapon, he didn’t want to expose his officers to greater danger due to angles of potential fire if he sent them forward.” Wow! An perhaps the Tooth Fairy was hovering somewhere in the ventilation system with an AK-47! Weak. If they suspected any of what’s quoted above, they should have dealt with it, beforehand. I’m generally a default supporter of law enforcement, but this event seems to contain elements of an execution than what should have been–could have been–a professionally executed arrest. Glad to hear the guy is out of the profession and out of the country. Disgusting!

  6. Another place folks will do this is place the logos and “witty” sayings on their Glock slide cover plate. That is bound to get you into trouble after a defensive shooting. The DA or suing party will claim you were “looking” to shoot somebody and will then make your life miserable or even ruin your life. “Smart ass” remarks do not belong anywhere on your firearm. Wearing the same stuff on your shirt or cap will hurt you just as bad if you happen to be wearing that shirt or cap in a defensive shooting. IMO, that kind of stuff denotes that you are immature and unprofessional. Don’t do it.

    Your firearm is a tool. Do you engrave the hammer in your toolbox? How about your power circular saw?

    • My own EDC is an old well worn “poor man’s” handgun that fits and suits ME perfectly but is nothing pretty or remarkable enough to attrace any attention. It was cheap when I found it, and is utterly unremarkable. As far as I know it is dead stock in every detail. Funny thing is, it came to me cheaply enough to qualify as a “saturday night special” but in reality is anything but.
      I have no stickers or logos on my van other than what Ford put on it way back when theybuilt it. And I gnerally don’t go out and about with any logos on tee shirts for any questinable entities. I seriously doubt anyone would get their hackles up over a logo like ‘drink local coffee” or “the like. I tend to concede as little ground as possible to those inclined to hysterics and/or jumping to confusions.

      • I am a ham radio operator in Michigan. At one time, if we wanted to mount a radio in our car, we also had to obtain a specific license plate identify our ham radio license. Sounds sort of reasonable, until you stop and consider that it is like advertising to the local criminals “ROB ME- I HAVE EXPENSIVE RADIOS!”.
        Eventually that went away when vanity plates became available for everyone. But for quite some time, it was an example of a well intentioned law that turned out to be counter productive. The idea was to stop people from having illegal police scanners in their cars to avoid speed traps, etc. What it caused was the theft of often quite valuable radio equipment, usually only in larger cities.
        I remember watching the youtube video of this shooting. At the time, it felt to me like the instructions given were difficult to follow, and confusing. I suspect that is why the shooting was deemed tactically justifiable, but still given a civil award of a huge financial amount. Because the average man on the street could not see the justification, even though it legally did exist.

  7. I’m about as pro police as anyone can be, and have been for all of my 78 years. But saying that I can’t help but think there has to be a much better porceedure for securing a suspect. At my age, if they told me to do what they told this man, I simply couldn’t do it. If at some point you could elaberate on this I think it would be very interesting to your readers.

    Thanks again for all you do for the safety of us gun guys.

  8. Mas, you’re dead wrong on this one. I watched the entire video & it would have been almost impossible for anyone in a normal, low-stress situation to follow those absurd instructions, but in a high-stress situation with multiple officers pointing weapons, it was a formula for disaster. Langley should be in prison, there is no doubt in my mind.

  9. Admittedly I did not watch all the video, but I DO have a strong opinion about how things went doen. Granted, I do not think the cop who fired was guilty of Murder Two. HOWEVER, the entrie setup was over the top three ring circus.
    I am a fairly competent and active older male, do have some neck issues from an old industrial injury the stupid state refuse to address, but despite that am fairly capable physically.
    Reading the dialogue between the poor sap on the floor and the barking drill sargeant in command, I question whether I would have ended up dead had I been wearing Sap’s shoes. Cross my ankles arms out front and CRAWL Is he NUTS? What, play inchworm on the carpeted hall floor? Every time the guy opened his outh the Sarge barks back at him essentially telling him shut up you are a worthless pile of dung. Makes me wonder what would happen if I were Sap, and tried to exlpain my inability to comply with his ridiculous instructions.

    Seems to me, with that many armed officers lined up, some amongst their number could have, from their vantage point, seen that his hands were empty, that there was no bulge at his rear waistband, etc. To have this incident proceed from some harmless foolishness inside an hotel room to dead on the floor in the hallway is just plain wrong. Not one other person was ever in danger.

    • I never said the sergeant’s command sequence was optimal. The post was about the trouble the “YF” dust cover caused the young officer.

  10. The last couple of comments bring up a subject that’s been talked around, but not addressed that I’ve noticed: rather ill considered under the circumstances LE commands. The classic probably has to be “Drop your gun or I’ll shoot!” to a suicidal individual.

    Based upon personal experience some decades back, I have some situational issues with the whole “drop the gun” idea. Should the gun AD on impact, it’s likely to result in a hail of gunfire. Pointing in a non-threatening/safe direction and kneeling to place it down makes a whole lot more sense.

    Having a prone/kneeling suspect cross their legs at the ankles is commonplace prior to approach, restraint and search in some areas. I have to wonder just how practical it is to have someone try to move forward on their knees with legs crossed. Any word on if that’s per duly vetted policy/training or was improvisation? I just tried it and my movement is limited to a couple of inches at a time. I’d expect some issues if there’s impairment due to disability or being under the influence.

    Advice for those of us who might be less able if faced with difficult/impossible requests?

    • It was never made public, to my knowledge, just how far outside protocol the sergeant’s command sequence was. If anyone has info on this (as opposed to speculation), please link it here.

      • Tionico, I can fully relate to your POV about this unprofessional freak show. The script on the dust cover (of his own personal AR) stands as an adequate symbol for this tragedy.
        Best wishes!

      • Assuming (I know) protocol was followed to the tee, then a serious investigation of that protocol seems to be in order.
        Best wishes.

      • There seems to be at least some evidence that the incident was not handled per normal protocols. For example, consider this quote:

        “The State called Detective Sipe to testify. Sipe testified he reviewed the footage of the body cameras, and concluded that portions of the video reveal that D.S. did not pose a threat. Sipe also interviewed various officers present at the incident, who stated they did not feel threatened; in fact, one officer put away his handgun in favor of a Taser. The video reveals D.S. did not reach in his pockets or verbally threaten the officers. Sipe also testified the techniques implemented during the investigation were not techniques he was familiar with, and alternative means of arrest were available that did not include lethal force. Petitioner’s counsel was afforded the opportunity to cross-
        examine Sipe, and did so.”

        So, there was at least one witness, at the Murder Two trial, that was a law-enforcement officer, Detective Sipe, and who testified that procedures were not followed as he understood them.

        The quote is from an official Court document found here:

        I am not an expert on police arrest procedures and would not dispute Mas in this area. I can only say that, in viewing the video, the approach actually used looks wrong (excessive and overly authoritarian) just as a “Gut Feeling”. Plus, as I indicated above, I feel that the entire police response was an over-reaction.

  11. BTW, where Mas mentions the furtive movement above (act of drawing), the Force Science Institute measured the time between visible hand and (simulated) shot as a mean of 0.36 seconds. It’d vary somewhat between individuals, but most probably wouldn’t finish the “Oh, feces” portion of the OODA loop (reaction).

  12. 32 year LEO vet here, but not to Monday morning QB in a harsh way.

    It appears to me that Langley was either hyper-stressed or confused… he apparently got “crawl forward slowly” and “cross your legs and stay still” mixed up. I’ve seen other officers use the “crawl forward” to make suspects come to them due to the fact there may be an unseen potential threat where the suspect started from and they wanted to get the suspect “Off the X” of that particular spot and closer to the officers, where they have more cover and and a bigger reactionary gap.

    Likewise, I’ve seen officers many times tell suspects to “cross your legs”, but usually when they’re facing away and on their knees upright, hands interlaced on their head…this makes it a lot harder for the suspect to suddenly pop up and run or fight, but it’s mainly used in an area where officers feel more comfortable approaching the suspect, like on the side of a rural road or in an empty street or alleyway.

    Point is, one makes the suspect mobile, the other is designed to keep him static. Langley looks to have mixed the two together in a moment of flustered stress. Also, his tone and choice of words gave the impression of a person either jacked too high on adrenalin or someone who was pissed off. Either way, he didn’t appear to be in a controlled, rational command of the situation. For example, “You do that again we’re shooting you! Do you understand?” seems more like a prediction than a command.

    Also, it’s not unreasonable to presume that the roaring prediction of “do it again and we’ll shoot” may have been interpreted by the young, inexperienced officer Brailsford as not only permission to shoot if Shaver made the slightest mistake, but could have been taken in the stress of the moment by Brailsford as “you WILL shoot if the suspect makes another mistake”.

    Part of being a good police leader in high stress situations in knowing the limits of your officer’s abilities and taking command in such a way as to give them best chance of succeeding, pushing them to their best. An older, experienced officer screaming confusing, threatening commands like that in a stressful, explosively emotional situation only exacerbates the issue and creates a far bigger chance something will go wrong. That’s exactly what I believe Langley did.

    Brailsford was found ‘Not Guilty’, but that’s not the same as being found “Not Wrong’. The jury didn’t decide to imprison him, but we didn’t get to hear their opinion on whether they thought he was wrong.

    I suspect the looked at the young officer and thought “He made a stupid mistake, but sending him to prison won’t fix it. Yes Shaver failed to follow commands, but it’s just a freaking tragedy.” To paraphrase a Sherlock Holmes story ‘Convict him and we make him a jailbird for life. We may be letting a criminal go, but we may be saving a soul.” Perhaps that is what they were thinking. Sadly, in this era of firearms users being informed by violent pop culture films, video games and the trickle down of the GWOT, the gun culture has seen a massive influx of very young, very immature people. I’ve chastised more than my share of young officers for modding their weapons with what they thing are funny, clever or ‘badass’ quotes or logos….. if I NEVER see another dumbass ‘Punisher’ skull again I’ll be thrilled beyond description.

    I actually believe Brailsford would’ve had a lot less chance of shooting Shaver if Langley had been in better control of his emotions, had handled the situation more professionally and with far better demeanor and hadn’t been shouting what amounted to permissions to inexperienced officers to shoot a guy on his knees in a hallway if he made a mistake. Sorry, but in my mind Langley was in command at the time, he bears the most blame for this happening the way it did, from a command perspective.

    Anyway, I think Shaver’s death was a terrible mistake. It should never have happened. Brailsford may have been legally judged to have ‘not been wrong’ to shoot, but that’s not the same as him actually being right in shooting Shaver.

    • @ Larry McClain – “I had Romans 12:18 engraved on my .45 carry gun.”

      If I was going to engrave a bible verse on my .45 acp, I would probably use Revelations 19:11.

      Rev. 19:11 – “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.”

  13. Mas.
    I’ve followed you for quite a while. I’m still waiting for you to admit that some cop was, crooked, a killer whose actions weren’t justified, etc. Perhaps I’ve just missed that column…..

  14. I was confident you might recognize the line of commenting I contributed- it ran along the same lines last time you brought this up, and I trust you found it just as displeasing now, while at the same time being uncomfortably factual and at least as unflattering as deserved. To think, people who are conservative think that Twitter and Facebook display bias, and censor to more liberal taste. Remember two words by which such bias is known- Badge Blind.

  15. Mas,
    Your friend carries a Ruger .380 IWB of his swim trunks, to the beach. Does he swim with it or never get in the water?

  16. “Human beings have personalized their weapons since the first caveman made his mark on his club. I get it. …What I DON’T have are guns bearing bullshit macho insignia.”

    While it is prudent, in these days and times, to act with restraint, let me play the “devil’s advocate” for a moment.

    We are told that we must limit our Freedom of Speech on the Internet. If we don’t self-censor, then the Left will censor us themselves. The will ban us, like Twitter did President Trump, block access, demonize us, doxx us or embargo us. They may even try to get us fired and ruin our ability to earn a living.

    We are told, in this very blog, that we must limit our Freedom of Speech with regard to what we engrave on our Firearms. We must also be mindful of the model of firearm used (no AR’s, No Ghost Guns, No Saturday Night Specials, use nothing that the Anti-gunner’s have demonized). We must be mindful of the ammunition that we use. We must be mindful of any modifications that we make to our firearms. If we don’t, then Left-leaning and power-hungry Prosecutors, often in the pockets of the Left, will pounce on us and, as with Rittenhouse and Zimmerman, attempt to railroad us into prison.

    We are told that we must be prudent and limit our Right to assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances. If we dare challenge the Left’s political power, we will be tarred as traitors and insurrectionists. We will be hunted down by the FBI and sent, as political prisoners, to the Left’s gulag in D.C.

    We must mold ourselves to the numerous laws and regulations that the Left’s Big Government forces on us. More every day. We must obey their Covid-19 rules, give up religious attendance, wear masks, take vaccines, etc. To do otherwise risks confrontation with and demonization by the Left.

    We must sit quietly as our national borders leak like a sleeve and vast quantities of people and illegal drugs pour over them. Between abortion, overdoes deaths, Covid-19 deaths, crime and suicide, the American people are being led into a slow-motion genocide. Doubt me? Then read this:

    We must give up our Right to Privacy as the Government monitors our communications with supercomputers and algorithms.

    We must sit quietly as media propagandists feed us lies 24/7/365. We must sit quietly as our children, those escaping abortion and making it to birth, are indoctrinated with the sick, sexually-perverted, godless doctrines of the American Left.

    We must not protest as voter fraud is used to impose leaders on us that we did not want and did not support with our votes. We must, meekly, hand over our hard-earned tax dollars and not protest as the money is wasted or corruptly diverted into the pockets of the elites and their big business cronies. We must sit quietly as our National Debt rises to the moon and we are being set up for another “Great Depression” event.

    So, please answer these questions: What is the limit? Just how far are we expected to “bend over backwards” for these tyrants and totalitarians?

    As an alternative view, perhaps, by going cautiously and prudently, we are walking ourselves into oppression, and slavery to the Left’s All-Powerful State. Some of us seem to be walking into a genocide like the Jews in 1930’s Germany.

    Maybe, just maybe, throwing “caution to the wind” will ultimately net us a better long-term outcome. Maybe short-term prudence is not prudent in the long term. Just a thought.

    • Just an addendum. Here is an interesting article that provides a follow-up to my comment above:

      Is it time for the rise of an American Cromwell?

      Is it time to say to the elites in the D.C. swamp, as Cromwell did to his Parliament Swamp (an I quote):

      “It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.

      You are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government.

      You are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

      Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?

      You have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

      You sordid prostitutes. Have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?

      You are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.

      Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God’s help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.

      I command you therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.

      Go, get you out! Make haste! You venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

      In the name of God, go!”

      Our problem is: Where is our Cromwell? Who will lead in cleansing this Nation? I pray God will send him or her soon!

      • Forget that Limey. I’m still waiting impatiently for The Return of The King. That means Elvis, who will save us from Tyranny and utter destruction.

        AOC and her squad, plus numerous liberals recommend you pray to Allah instead of God for salvation. They claim God is the worst of the slimy Ultra MAGA supporters.

      • TN_MAN,

        Well written. I’ll just type what we already know. For most of us, the outrages you list are stories we hear on the news. Those of us who have jobs are able to go about our lives in a way that is almost normal. I know one person who has died from the China virus, and zero who have died from fentanyl.

        I would like to “do something,” but that would likely result in failure, my arrest, and imprisonment like has happened to the January 6th rally attendees. They were zealous, and tried to right the wrong of a stolen election. The fact is, Donald Trump should be in his second term right now. He won the 2020 election. Biden is an illegitimate President. The country is suffering needlessly. But, for many, life is still tolerable, even good.

        I worked at the country club this weekend. We had a wedding, a first communion party and a graduation party. Everyone was happy. Food was good and plentiful.

        Why should I leave my comfortable bubble, before some outside force bursts it?

      • @ Roger Willco – “Why should I leave my comfortable bubble, before some outside force bursts it?”

        The bubble is popping right now for those who have eyes and can see. Our National Debt has mounted to over $30 trillion dollars. Approximately seven (7) times annual revenue. See this link:

        The U.S. inflation rate has climbed from less than 1.5 %, when Crooked Joe took office as POTUS, to about 8.5 % currently. See this link:

        Despite the Fed beginning a long series of interest rate hikes, I fully expect the inflation rate to climb back into Jimmy Carter, Stagflation range within a few more months.

        Fuel cost/shortages and supply-chain disruptions have earned Senile Joe the nickname of “Bare-Shelves Biden”. Hence, the Democrat/Media Complex desperate need to distract the American People with the Russian/Ukrainian War.

        You can hold off the Laws of Economics just so long. Sooner or later, the economic chickens are going to come home to roost here in the U.S.A. The “Good Times” that you are experiencing will evaporate like spit in a blast furnace.

        Soft times make for soft people. The American People, especially our younger, indoctrinated generation, are as soft as a rotten peach right now.

        However, hard times make for Hard People. I expect that, when the hard times do hit and the next “Great Depression” appears, the American People will become as hard as woodpecker lips. Maybe they will finally be hard enough, at that point, to reform and cleanse our corrupt Government. Maybe that will be the “Bitter Medicine” that we will have to swallow for our cure.

        Well, time will tell.

      • TN_MAN,

        I believe the warnings you mention. I am prepped for SHTF. But, it never comes to America. I still see people going to restaurants. We complain about how our government makes us wage slaves, but we live in big houses and drive pickup trucks. How many Europeans can own a pickup truck as a private vehicle, not a commercial vehicle? Americans are still going on vacation. A poor American lives better than Queen Victoria lived. She died in 1901, not that long ago, world history-wise.

        I believe the collapse is coming. We may be in a slow-motion collapse right now. But, for those who have jobs which pay at least middle-class wages, life is still good. The calm before the storm. But consider; Peter Schiff predicted the 2007 housing collapse, and since then he has been predicting a bigger depression than in the 1930s, but it never happens.

        Yesterday I saw someone comment on a YouTube video about how afraid he was because of all the bad news. He was scared and depressed. Consider that he communicated these emotions ON A COMPUTER! That means the electricity is on, and he has money for more than just food! First world problems.

  17. I bought a nice Glock 19 mag with a ‘Punisher’ mag baseplate on it for a very good price.

    First thing I did when I got home was get an old Glock 19 baseplate and swap out.

    That kind of stuff on guns I just don’t like.

  18. I can agree with the many here that I tend to defend L.E. in most cases always considering the enormous onslaught of “defund the police” extreme left attack on the police. I believe that the line police officers are suffering from the exact same thing veterans, active duty military personnel are going through. I would also like to add that anyone that is considered a dissenter of this destructive agenda going on in America is also targeted by this tyrannical system. It’s obviously not our government any longer, and the bulk of the alphabet agencies are not there for the U.S. citizen, but to keep the party line unmolested, sustainable planet, Agenda 2030. This statement alone is enough to include me the Randy Weaver’s of our world. Point well taken and may they Collective’s shove up their collectives. I speak in the face of the murderous Clinton administration that murdered 28 people in Okc. in 1995, Randy Weaver’s family 1992, the Branch Davidian’s 1993, Vince Foster 1993, Ron Brown 1996. When despots run the country.
    The Sgt. Langley response was no doubt over the top, and an (on video) self-incrimination. If Sgt Langley had been in Irag or Afghanistan, his tactics would be considered justifiable. Can a police officer or even a citizen afford the time to wait and see if a real-live weapon is coming out. I feel most courts would convict the officer for unjustifiable homicide. Now in defense, put on the uniform and were for years, day in/day out and handle the stress of the line police officer of 2022. Thats why I’m not a cook.

    • True in many ways still this sergeant in charge of younger people is responsible for on scene !eadership. Langley screwed up and killed the guy.

  19. I was considering having all my firearms engraved with “Kill Them All!” an often quoted line from the TV series Xena: Warrior Princess, but after reading Mas’ advice, I’ve changed my mind.

    In fact, I may retire my .45 and just carry a sword instead. It can’t go off accidentally, but I still can stab someone by mistake. Packing it concealed may require a change in wardrobe.

    • @ Tom606 – “I was considering having all my firearms engraved with “Kill Them All!” an often quoted line from the TV series Xena: Warrior Princess…”

      The TV series did not originate that phrase. It dates all the way back to the Massacre at Beziers (July 22, 1209). They are from the famous words of the Abbot who was with the Crusader forces that attacked the city.

      From a letter to Pope Innocent III describing the attack:

      “When they discovered, from the admissions of some of them, that there were Catholics mingled with the heretics they said to the abbot ‘Sir, what shall we do, for we cannot distinguish between the faithful and the heretics.’ The abbot, like the others, was afraid that many, in fear of death, would pretend to be Catholics, and after their departure, would return to their heresy, and is said to have replied ‘Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius – Kill them all for the Lord knoweth them that are His’ (2 Tim. ii. 19) and so countless number in that town were slain.”

      Hard times make for hard people. See this link for the source of the above information:

      • TN_MAN:

        Thanks for the history lesson. Always good to learn something new.

        So, the Warrior Princess is a plagiarizer just like Crooked Joe, MLK, and many other lefties who have trouble coming up with original things to say or write.

  20. While listening to a podcast populated by some of the most innovative and experienced experts in the use of defensive shotguns, I was reminded of the contents of this forum and its focus on the officer’s dust cover after one member of the podcast panel suggested that it may be very wise to consider outfitting defensive shotguns with more traditional wood furniture, specifically out of a concern about the current legal environment and the perceptions involved should one ever become involved in legal proceedings as a result of having to actually use one of those firearms in self defense.

    This suggestion was met with overall support and no voiced opposition by the other members of the panel. While this idea falls on the opposite end of the firearms “personalization” spectrum from that which was spawned by the “YF” dust cover controversy, I find it interesting that the general subject matter may have become a shared concern involving “perception vs. reality” over possible entanglements and consequences one could be forced to confront due to stylistic details of one’s firearms.

    (Miss having access to the “Pro-Arms Podcast” on some of the more traditional tech platforms, Mas, yet pleased that some episodes remain available via the website. Outstanding, entertaining, important, and especially relevant content!)

    • TN_MAN, the article shows the pinnacle of political nadirs. Unimaginable familial compromise with the most unscrupulous of enemies imaginable.
      If I am a security guard with a need to stop a shooter wearing a level IV vest, I want an accurate shotgun loaded with buckshot, likely #4.

  21. Look at how the dominoes were lined up, and then fell. This was an example of “the perfect storm.” Murphy’s Law in action. Tempest in a teapot, mountain out of a molehill.

    A man was in a hotel room. Air rifle was encased. Two guests enter room. Alcohol introduced. One guest thinks the case contains a musical instrument. Air rifle removed from case.

    So far, nothing bad has happened.

    One guest shoulders the air rifle. This pose is seen by a person outside the hotel room.

    Here comes the escalation. This observer believes she is seeing a criminal act. She thinks, “I’ve got to call the police before someone is shot!” The police imagine the worst possible scenario. The frightened woman hasn’t misunderstood something she saw, she has identified the next mass shooter moving into position. We better get there quick and save lives.

    This is like the October 31st, 1938 radio broadcast of the “War of the Worlds” by Orson Welles. Some people hear an audio science fiction play, while others hear a Martian invasion of planet Earth.

    Add to this toxic brew the fact that police officers hear about police officers getting killed every week in America, or is it every three days now? That escalates their stress levels.

    Simply put, the outside observer and the police over-reacted to an innocent gesture that appeared to be a criminal gesture; namely, the aiming of a gun.

    I’m going to paint all my guns pink.

    • @ Roger Willco – “I’m going to paint all my guns pink.”

      I recommend using the Cerakote H-series Firearm finish kit rather than ordinary paint. It is made for firearms and is more durable and will stand up to hard use. See this link:

      If you click on the color tab, on the right, it will show you the numerous colors available for this kit. Note that “Prison Pink” is available. It would seem to be the ideal color for your purpose! 🙂

    • Many moons ago, the late senator Ted Kennedy while in his office in D.C. called the police and stated there was a gunman on the roof of an nearby building with a rifle. Apparently Chappaquidick Ted thought an evil assassin was out to get him by shooting from a rooftop instead of the customary grassy knoll. Swarms of heavily armed police officers quickly assaulted that rooftop and found a man, probably a maintenance technician (janitor) up there sweeping with a broom.

    • Roger, painting your guns pink may not be a good idea as violent radical ferminists are considering that color for the assault rifles which they will soon use in their war against men. You may be seen as a slimy traitor by other dudes.

  22. Off-topic (sort of), but the Anti-American Media is buzzing over another mass-murder event. See this article:

    This incident is a Godsend for the American Left. It is just what they need right now. It has the following benefits for the Left:

    1) It allows them to play the “Race Card” once again. Boy, they LOVE doing that!
    2) It can be used to fire up their brainwashed base. Very important as we approach the mid-term elections.
    3) It allows them to dance in the blood of murder victims (once again – their favorite dance!) and push for more firearms-prohibition laws. Also very important to Left since the SCOTUS is working on a 2nd Amendment Case and is expected to hand down a decision soon. Dare they hope that it will move the needle, which was pointing against them in this case, to their favor?

    For the American Left, a case like this is “Golden”. You can expect them to exploit it to the MAX. Remember their motto, “never let a crisis go to waste!”

    Examined in a more sober, unemotional light, this case is not so good for their argument:

    1) The killer seems to have broken a bunch of gun laws and obtained his weapons illegally. This was a failure of their Firearm-Prohibition Laws!
    2) The shooting seems to have taken place in a “Gun Free Zone”. What a surprise! It is another failure of their Firearm-Prohibition ideology.
    3) The shooter seems to have had a history. Nevertheless, law enforcement / mental health did not act preemptively to stop this. We have seen this before too!

    Failure, Failure, and Failure of their gun control ideology. However, who needs facts? The Left will make their sweetest lemonade from these lemons! They control the media therefore they will tell the sheep what to think! What they will tell the sheep to think is “OMG! We need more Gun Control NOW!”

    On the tactical side, the security guard did his best to stop the murderer. However, the psycho seems to have been wearing ballistic armor. The guards shots failed to stop him.

    Wonder if the security guard had ever practiced the “Failure to Stop” drill. It would have served him very well here if he could have pulled it off. Unfortunately, he did not execute such a maneuver and he was killed instead.

    At least he went down fighting rather than on his knees as a disarmed victim!

    • It’s unlikely the Tops security guard had been to Gunsite or Mozambique, so may not be familiar with that shooting tactic. Head shots are more difficult to make and from reports I’ve heard, the killer was wearing a Kevlar helmet, but unless it has a clear ballistic shield too, his face is vulnerable. However, the crotch and legs make good alternative targets and an opened femoral artery would disable the killer quickly. Hits in the groin or knee will put him on the ground immediately and greatly limit his mobility.

    • TN_MAN,

      I also view the security guard as a hero. Perhaps he did not have time to make a head shot after seeing that the chest shots were ineffective. The monster was too quick for him and, of course, he was expecting two shots to the chest to end the fight. If the body armor is thin, you can’t see it.

      You are right. The Left has been waiting for a white supremacist to commit a crime. The last time this happened was June 17, 2015 when nine black church members were murdered in Charleston, SC. See, white supremacy really is the biggest threat to America. It happens every seven years or so. Watch out for those rascally Republicans!

      • One more thing. Notice how the goblin went into a grocery store, and killed innocent people. What if he went into a prison, and shot the criminals on death row? Then, he would be a hero, not a goblin. [Only members of the legal system would regret that part of their source of income was now gone. Patriots would celebrate.]

        Killing good people is bad, but killing bad people is good.

  23. OK, then.

    Mas, a question: Joe (or Jane) Citizen is confronted by multiple police officers, each yelling a different command (“hands up”; “stand still”; “on your knees”; drop the gun” (which is probably a cell phone, but….); “show me your hands”; “turn around and face away from me”; and so forth).

    Joe/Jane does not know what purported crime/action/intuited belief prompted the police to arrive, but knows that in similar cases the Joe/Jane got shot. With numerous and conflicting commands, what action does Joe/Jane take to indicate compliance and not get shot?

    • My suggestion (worth every penny you’re paying for it), if conflicting commands are coming in: Freeze. Don’t move a muscle.

      After the officers are done shouting, ask (as calmly and respectfully as you can), “What? Which? How do you want this to go?”

      And when you get non-conflicting orders, slowly and smoothly follow them to the letter, repeating back a play-by-play while doing it. “OK, I’m putting down my phone. I’m getting on my knees. I’m putting my hands on my head.” Et cetera.

      It seems to me that, despite the “not following police orders” angle, freezing in place means no “furtive movements” which would justify a lethal response. (If it does, the civil lawsuit will bring a WORLD of hurt.) No reasonable person could fault requesting clarification on conflicting orders.

      Like it or not, in this scenario they have all the power, by design. It’s out of your control. What you can control is your response and my actions, so the goal should be to respect that power disparity and avoid doing anything that will cause them to use it.

      In my mind, it’s not significantly different from being arrested for carrying a firearm (legally), or having to use a firearm in justifiable self-defense. We can argue up and down how being arrested for lawful activity is a travesty … but while being arrested isn’t the right time. Your opportunity to argue the appropriateness and reasonableness (or lack thereof) of their actions, the appropriateness and reasonableness of their training and protocols, and the appropriateness and reasonableness of their actions and verbal commands — and the appropriateness and reasonableness of their claimed paternal lineage, if relevant — will come in court later.

      But first, you have to survive the encounter.

      • When confronted by multiple and/or conflicting orders from the police, the best action is to lay on your belly and extend your arms and legs straight out in all four points of the compass and don’t move. You can also shout loudly “I’m deaf!” and don’t respond to any further commands. You may be charged later with lying to the police, but at least you won’t get shot – hopefully. If you do get shot or killed, your heirs will be very wealthy.

  24. The Fog of War: Robert McNamara.
    It can’t be by accident that the microwave brain fog (the constant warming companion of electro-magnetic) embraces humanity with love and warmth. The T-shirt guy walking into wally-world in sub temps in Duluth. “Its not cold, I dont feel a thing.” John Q public’s reply; Your crazy, it’s freezing out here, are you nuts. T shirt guy’s reply; Your all pussie’s, gimme the 12 pack of Red bull.

  25. Here is an example of a “failure of the victim selection process”. This homeowner seems to have employed effective tactics.

    No details as to the type or caliber of firearm used by the homeowner.

    Sure hope that it did not have “molon labe” or a “Punisher” logo printed on his gun. That might totally negate the “Castle Doctrine” and get the homeowner slammed in the slammer! 🙂

  26. I have given some thought to how i would handle such a confrontation. Generally, I subscribe to Mas’ theory of compliance and sort out the complications after the police have controlled the situation. However, there are some orders that I would be physically unable to comply with. I cannot get down on my knees without using a hand to stabilize myself. Really don’t like moving my hands around in such a situation. The alternative would be to just fall but that would be a rapid, uncontrolled movement which is also problematic. Also, I have limited range of motion on my right shoulder that would interfere with handcuffing.

    I would freeze and try to explain the situation but if, as was the case in the incident being discussed, the police would not allow that, I am not sure what I would do. Any suggestions?


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