For the last month, I’ve been blogging about the heart-breaking atrocity at the high school in Florida, and the misguided assault on gun owners’ civil rights which followed it.  I thought I might escape that grimness at the Rangemaster Tactical Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. No such luck.

Today was the first of the three days of this prestigious seminar.  All of us, of course, were discussing the incident and its misplaced aftershocks.  My day began taking a long-range pistol class taught by my colleague Marty Hayes and his assistant, Belle McCormack from the Firearms Academy of Seattle.  In their introduction to the class, they pointed out that the interdiction of a mass murderer might require distance shooting even if the rescuer only had a pistol. The shooting curriculum put pressure on all of us pulling the triggers to get precision hits under stress.

I also took a class on training to the gun owner’s specific needs from Jack Feldman, Ph.D, and Martin Topper, a well-known psychologist who moonlights as a gun magazine writer.  For anyone buying into the anti-gun meme that “no one needs a defensive firearm that can hold more than ten cartridges,” both pointed out the fact that home invasions these days tend to involve multiple perpetrators, who are sometimes wearing body armor. (One of the other attendees told me of a case in his bailiwick that involved eight armed home intruders.)  Being the actors who initiate the assault, the home invaders can be expected to make their violent entry with multiple guns per offender and all the ammo they wish to carry.  The reactor, the home defender, by contrast is likely to have only the number of rounds in the gun he or she barely had time to get to.  Do the math…

As grim as the topics at TacCon are, there is some sport to it. Host Tom Givens includes a combat handgun competition called The Polite Society Match. The name derives from a Robert Heinlein quote popularized by Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC Retired: “An armed society is a polite society.”

TacCon draws some serious shooters.  To preserve suspense, the hosts don’t post the scores as soon as they are recorded, but I can tell you a couple of things. First, the Evil Princess, who has twice been high woman at this event in the past shooting against some of the top females in the country and beating most of the men, is only two points down from perfect. Second, the quality of shooting here is so high that just after the first day, several perfect scores on the fixed-time speed shooting event have been recorded.  Good news (for me, anyway), I’m one of them.  Bad news: the competing field includes world-class champion shooters like Gabe White and Ernest Langdon.  In the shootoff for the title, my chances are about like a snowball in hell…but at least I’ll go down shooting. We’ll know the results Sunday night, but I won’t have time to blog on it for a few days because on Sunday I have to race to the Little Rock airport so I can get to St. Louis on time to chair the Panel Of Experts on Deadly Force and Firearms Training for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers seminar.

Oh, and one more thing: one trainer scheduled to teach at TacCon couldn’t make it. He is a veteran street cop, and a master instructor in both the gun and hand to hand combat.  Scuttlebutt is, his department had an officer-involved shooting and even though he apparently wasn’t the cop who pulled the trigger, his name came into it.  The trolls – haters of cops, haters of armed citizens, haters of those with the courage to defend themselves – got hold of his home address and the address of the gym he owns as a sideline, and published it.  Death threats to him, his family, and his students have reportedly resulted.  Understandably, he is staying home in a protective role.

I know this man. A note to the trolls stalking him and those within the mantle of his protection: if you actually are stupid enough to send your punk puppets after him and them … send the ones you don’t need back.

In the current climate, the hatred of the weak toward the strong seems to grow day by day.


Psychologist Martin Topper…

…and retired psychology professor Jack Feldman discuss how to tailor priorities of practice and training to the individual’s lifestyle.

The firing line takes a look at their distant steel targets on the FAS long range pistol course.

Here I’m giving my lecture, on why typical defense strategies for guilty defendants translate poorly to wrongfully-accused good guys and gals who used deadly force in self-defense.


  1. About that long distance shooting with a handgun. An Air Force Security Policeman (Andy Brown) took out an active shooter at 75 yards with his M9 Beretta (see his book, Warnings Unheaded). Only active shooter I’ve ever heard at an Air Force Base in the US.

    We all need to train for what’s reasonable, and everything else these days.

    Stay Safe Out There.

  2. Dear Mas

    Thanks for the report. Good luck in the shoot tomorrow.

    I sure wish I were there.
    Maybe next year.

  3. “In the current climate, the hatred of the weak toward the strong seems to grow day by day.”

    It has ever been thus, Mas. People want the protection of the strong who are willing to protect the weak, until they perceive there is no longer a need. Then they want them out of mind, because the mere thought of their existence brings them feelings of insecurity and peril. It’s an unfortunate facet of human nature as I see it.

    The difference today, in our current climate as you say, is that the weak are provided fresh fodder for fear on an hourly basis by the far left and their puppets in the media. How often lately have we seen a “good guy/girl” to the rescue story? They don’t fit the narrative.

  4. “In the current climate, the hatred of the weak toward the strong seems to grow day by day.”

    As I noted in a previous comment, the ideology of the Left is to view the “masses” as “innocent sheep” who need (and who should want) the guidance, control and protection of a strong, left-wing oriented, central government.

    The Left truly believes in “Big Government” and truly believes that governmental control is the path to their utopia on earth. Many leftists are atheists and do not have any beliefs in an “afterlife”. The only “heaven” that they can envision is a left-wing utopia which they are fighting to create here on earth.

    Is it any wonder that such people “hate the strong”. The segment of the masses, that want to be independent and strong, is a direct challenge to left-wing ideology. By wanting to be independent, rather than dependent on the central government, these people directly challenge the left-wing world-view of “innocent sheep”. By wanting to be strong, they place themselves outside of the circle of leftist control. Believe me, the leftists are the greatest “control freaks” that the world has ever produced. They simply cannot tolerate anyone standing up to them. They simply cannot tolerate anyone that they cannot control. They simply cannot tolerate anyone who thinks a single thought that is independent of their approved “Political Correctness”.

    Indeed, that is why the left is currently churning in a whirlpool of anger and hatred. This is why their news-media attack dogs are spewing forth a never-ending flood of anti-trump and anti-conservative hatred. This is why they are so, so, so desperate to win the upcoming 2018 mid-term elections. They lost the 2016 Presidential Election despite all their propaganda and rigging efforts. They are OUT OF POWER as a result!

    To the “Control Freaks” of the left, being OUT OF POWER is INTOLERABLE! IT MUST STOP! They are WILD with HATRED and ANGER to DESTROY their political opponents and re-take governmental CONTROL and POWER BACK into their hands. They will do WHATEVER it takes to get POWER back. They will use their media to spew forth a continual stream of lies and propaganda. They will use the “Politics of Personal Destruction” to bring down their opponents. They will break the laws, violate the Constitution, rig the elections. They will force schools to be unprotected “Gun Free” zones simply so that children WILL BE SLAUGHTERED. They will then use the blood of the murdered children to grease the skids of their movement. They will indoctrinate the living children with their leftist teachers and use them as prop and tools to further their movement.

    The left has no shame and no moral principle EXCEPT to SEIZED POWER by WHATEVER MEANS that are necessary and to then implement their ideology.

    Sun Tzu said that to win the battle, it is necessary to “know the enemy”. Well, know it now. The above description should let you know the kind of internal enemy we are facing with the American Left.

    • I find it paradoxical that students who walked out of class on March 14th to advocate banning guns and mitigation of “gun violence” decided instead to engage in “fun violence” by rioting, abusing and stomping on an American Flag, vandalizing property and climbing on top of a police cruiser.

      How fortunate these young miscreants were to have committed the aforementioned crimes in the good old USA.

      Had they decided to go “wilding” in public anywhere between northern Mexico and southern Argentina, it is likely that 100% non-politically correct law enforcement officers and soldiers would not have hesitated for one second to employ lethal force against the rioting students.

      The wide, wide world outside the USA would be a very harsh proving ground for anti-social, disrespectful, rude and selfish “Ugly American” high school students whose leftist, progressive protests are endorsed openly by the American Federation of Teachers and The National Education Association.

  5. Mas, has it occurred to you that you are going about this long range pistol shooting all wrong?

    When I retired 13 years ago, I felt a foreboding that our society and leadership was deteriorating and I should start preparation for uncertain times. I looked for information to aid in my quest and took out a subscription to ” Backwoods Home” because the folks here seemed to be knowledgeable and more sane than the majority of prepper/ survival sites. Having a solid background in firearms and their use, I gravitated instantly to your columns and this blog. I’ve benefited greatly from the association. In my searching the internet for similar sites, I found that the majority of “survivalist” blogs/websites were congregations of self styled experts putting out information that is based not on factual real life experience, rather, fanciful “Hollywood” fiction. I don’t know how many times I’ve read comments from people claiming they took their newly purchased “High-Point 9mm” and “consistently” hit clay pigeons at 100 yards.

    So, you are going about it all wrong. Seeking out good solid instruction and expending thousands of rounds of ammo practicing is a waste of time and money. All it takes for successful long range pistol accuracy is a cheap weapon and natural ability. Having no problem lying about the whole experience also helps.

    • This Rangemaster TacCon looks like the real deal. My year as a range supervisor did very occasionally see me wondering whether or not I might not have to put a full stop on somebody who was out of control. Fortunately, all I ever had to eliminate was a rattlesnake, and that only after-hours. My primary weapon, though, was a rifle, with which a 100-yard shot would usually be little challenge. In all my days I have never heard of a Rangemaster who actually shot a hopelessly troublesome customer. I do wonder if anyone knows of such an event.

  6. In the new Texas School Safety class for armed school employees the course of fire ends with ten rounds at a B-27 at 50 yards. This is supposed to convince students that shooting at such extreme ranges is unrealistic.

    • “This is supposed to convince students that shooting at such extreme ranges is unrealistic.” Hmmmm ….. Our group was semi rushed off the range after that last course of fire without much of an explanation on that. I took it an being an exercise to help people have a better understanding of what they can and can not accomplish at that distance.

  7. Great Perspective Mas! Especially on ammo limitations ie multiple attackers and body armor.

    In the rhetoric wars I’ve been tweeting for for weeks that AR-15’s are “self-defense rifles” – why they are made and purchased. Obviously this is to combat liberal “assault weapon” agitprop. Looks like the NRA is catching on too.

    MAG40 Graduate

    Rusty Ashbaugh @MuskieRA

  8. My son serves on a Navy vessel in Norfolk. A few years ago, they had an active shooter who killed a sailor, during a time when proper protocols were not followed.
    My son and his ship were on fleet week in Baltimore, at dock, when an elderly couple, of about 70, came paddling up to their ship in a canoe. Standard procedure was to keep them away by like 50 yards. The couple was taking pictures, and waving, etc. My son was on the 50 caliber battery, and they were trying to get the couple to back off, yelling and such, but to no avail, the people thought they were just waving back. Finally my son, who is a second class petty officer, yelled to his chief, what do I do, and his chief told him, load up. So my son loaded his quad fifties right there in Baltimore harbor. That got the peoples attention, right away, and the crew was able to tell them to back off, and get the heck out of there. But I was able to understand just what kind of pressure our military is under at any time, from a seemingly innocent source.
    His ship was in the straits of Hormuz, and they were under constant threat of being rammed by the Iranan naval ships, who were trying to cause an international incident. It seems as if now, things have settled down a bit, but when he was over there this past summer, it was a difficult thing to maintain their cool at all times. The Iranian boats would buzz them within just a few hundred yards. My son is on a cruiser. Some of the things that they did on their mission got the entire ship a commendation medal from the president, given to them from an admiral. So I am understandably proud of him, as he got an individual medal, for his part that enabled the ship to do what they did.

  9. When people tell me that you do not need more than ten rounds, I ask them how many rounds did your last gun fight take? It gets them off balance. They will normally answer they have never been in a gun fight! So then I ask then how would you know?

    • I LOVE IT! I had always launched into a detailed explanation before. This is the perfect simple response.

      • I too, have obtained a new question. I generally use open-ended questions to make them think. this one is terrific. thanks.

    • Great rebutal Dave. And after reading so much from liberal Dave. It’s great to finally here from you. Over here in Austin Texas we are starting to more bombers.

    • I’m putting this in my gun-control response arsenal. Thank you, Uncle Dave. Sadly, I’m in CA, where 10 round mags are all we’re allowed.

  10. From the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Bill of Rights:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;….”

    What so disappoints me, in the world today, is the relentless double-standard that (with the help of the mainstream media) is applied between Leftists and Conservatives. As we have all seen, if you are a big-time leftist (EX: Hillary Clinton), you can commit multiple felonies and rig elections and still be untouchable by the law. On the other hand, if you are a Conservative or just an ordinary citizen and do such things, you would be brought up on charges in a heart-beat.

    The double-standard extends to the above application of the 1St Amendment. A Conservative cannot so much as say a prayer or have a Nativity scene during Christmas without the ACLU bringing a lawsuit charging a violation of the 1st Amendment.

    Which brings up the question: What is meant by “religion” in the 1st Amendment? The Leftists use a very narrow definition whereby a religion is taken as a belief system that defines a philosophy of living one’s life in relationship to others AND WITH GOD.

    In my view, this is too narrow. Suppose one started to use the power of the U.S. Government to teach Buddhism is our schools? While some forms of Buddhism do include concepts of Gods and re-birth, it is also possible to be an atheist and believe in Buddhism. It can simply be a way of living in relation to one’s fellow man. In other words, simply as a moral system.

    Would mandating this secular form of Buddhism in our schools be acceptable? In my opinion, it would not. I believe that the 1st Amendment should be read broadly and that it forbids the Government from establishing any systematic ideology by means of schools or other government programs. That any ideology that mandates a specific mode of thought and correct behavior falls under the ban.

    So, this would include established religions such a Christianity or Islam (with its Sharia Law). However, it should also include a ban on non-religion ideologies such as secular forms of Buddhism and (here comes the point) left-wing ideology.

    In my view, left-wing ideology (despite being secular) nevertheless qualifies as a defined moral system that mandates a way of life. It is a religion in everything except God and its followers are fired by a fanatic mania similar to that which fired the Crusades or, currently, fires radical Islam.

    Yet, our schools have been turned into indoctrination camps for this quasi-religion. Once again, we see the double-standard where the 1st Amendment is used to harshly “crack-down” on Conservative thought while, simultaneously, the leftists are given a free pass.

    In my view, the 1st Amendment is being grossly violated daily here in the United States. Segments of our Government and our schools are being used to establish the “Religion of the Left-Wing” and our Courts do nothing about it. They are too busy worrying that someone might be leading a prayer or be setting up a Nativity scene. Their eyes are blind to the gross violations happening every day. These double-standards illustrate the sickness in our County as nothing else does. Equal protection of the law has, long since, gone out of the window.

    • TN_MAN,

      You are right, Buddhism does not require a belief in a Creator.

      I will attempt to equate Left-Wing Ideology (Communism, Secular Humanism, Statism, et cetera) even more with traditional religions. The “god” of Leftism is mankind itself. We, with our superior brain power, are solving our own problems, making life better for ourselves, inventing almost miraculous machines, and healing technologies. We will use our brains in order to formulate good laws for ourselves. Our success in controlling our world will progress until we have made this earth a utopia. The only thing Leftists cannot achieve victory over is death.

      The priests of Leftism would be Karl Marx, Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud. The scriptures of Leftism would be “Capitalism” by Karl Marx, and “The Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin.

      I think I’ve heard Rush Limbaugh say that abortion is the Left’s sacrament, but I have a hard time seeing the parallel. Right now, I can’t think of any more parallels between Left-Wing Ideology and traditional, supernatural religions. Oh yes, it is laughable how much intolerance Leftists have for heretics. When you read about colleges during the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation, strict rules were enforced. Heresy was rooted out. The Left is doing the same thing today. They were the ones who, in the early twentieth century, complained about “religious dogma.” Now they are the new Inquisition. Ha Ha!

      Can Mankind be its own Savior? Leftism believes we can.

  11. I’ve noted several posters here contributing to the demonization of us “shooters” albeit by accident. I like to think that everyone here is a “shooter.” I am. I shoot for fun, not for murder. The press loves to call the perpetrators of single victim and mass (3+)killings “the gunman” and “the shooter.” The events are called “active shooter.” As above, I’m an “active shooter” but no killer.
    We all need to get used to NOT using the anti-gun terminology. Use “Murderer” or “killer” or even “madman” to describe these people. You never see/hear the media say “knifeman” or “stabber” or “carman” but they sure love to say “gunman” or “shooter.” Let’s rise above this and use terminology that helps us, not hurts us.

    • @ Captain Bob – Yes, Gun-owners and 2nd Amendment supporters who, inadvertently, adopt the “double-speak” of the gun-grabbers are falling into one of the “traps” laid by the Leftists. However, they are not the worst by a “long shot”.

      No, the worst of the worst are those gun-owners who truly “buy-in” to the utopian disarmament dream being sold by the left to those who are gullible enough to believe the propaganda being shoved daily by the leftist, mainstream media. If you need an illustration of the “worst of the worst”, just read this story:

      This poor guy has been totally “brain-washed” by leftist propaganda. The media has sold him such a “snow-job” that he is posing and smiling as he “turns in his guns”. If this does not make you want to puke, then I don’t know what will!

      He says that he wants to be “part of the solution”. By buying into the lies of the Left, he just became a traitor to one of the most basic and core American principles. The principle of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

      He is not part of the solution. He just became part of the problem!

  12. To all who post here – I miss reading your words and will attempt to get more backwoods/Mas Ayoob time in the future. RE: this particular thread – it’s a problem I’ve approached before – somehow the folks who have kept their sanity about the “gun culture” simply MUST find a way to get the truth out. I continue to be an optimist about the human race and believe that if they WERE exposed to the truth, it will win. We have an abundance of ladies and gentlemen who are absolutely terrific at explaining and teaching everything there is to know about this subject. Mas (and so many others) would be amazing in that role. I realize Mas, etc. are doing all they can to address this – so much more is needed. It seems to me that there must be someone who has the finances (let’s face it – it’s gonna require money and lots of it) and would be willing if asked – to help. I have no easy solutions, just a proposal.

    • Don-Pa.,

      Friend, I’m afraid I don’t share your optimism about the human race and our ability to have education solve our problems. I’m afraid many anti-gunners are under a “strong delusion.”

      Education? Remember that Robert McNamara was a really smart man. I guess there is a difference between smarts (or knowledge) and wisdom. Robert McNamara was largely responsible for losing the Vietnam War. I guess he was an educated fool.

      The men who built the Titanic had separate sections to contain water in the event of a leak. But those sections were open on top, so when one section filled up, the water spilled over the top into the next section. I’m sure there have been a lot of educated fools in history. Mike Tyson had $300 million dollars, and spent it all. That’s pretty dumb.

      When all else fails, read the instructions.

  13. Today’s incident at a Maryland High School does not fit at all the leftist progressives’ agenda. An armed LE school resource officer pursued an armed (student) wanna be mass murderer shooter on campus and engaged in a short gun battle with that wanna be mass murderer. Sadly, two students were injured, one seriously, one less so.

    Happily, the wanna be mass murderer ended up down for the count (permanently), it matters not whether the school resource officer’s bullet fired killed him or if he took the coward’s way out and shot himself.

    This outcome is most certainly problematic for the shrieking harpies of the progressive left who despise guns, gun owners, and the American historical culture of private firearms ownership.

    A fearless, on scene, prepared, well trained “good guy with a gun” in hand raced to engage and send a bullet toward a wanna be mass murderer before innocents present could be killed. Today, one wanna be mass murderer was stopped … dead … by a “good guy with a gun.”

    Pray tell, how will the mainstream media spin this particular tale, the facts of which do not flow seamlessly into their relentless stream of anti-gun “agitprop” disseminated to the masses?

    • @ Curtis – I predict that the mainstream media will not even bother to try to “spin” this story. They will simply hush it up. You will get minimal coverage of this story. It does not fit their preferred narrative.

      No, a month from now, the MSM will still be milking the old Florida shooting. They will report every detail of the trial of the Florida madman that murdered all those kids. They will still be using this old story to call for more Firearms Prohibition.

      The story about this Maryland incident? The one where the good guy with a gun prevailed? What story? It will be as dead and forgotten as a canned lobster.

    • Curtis – I guess you are correct. The Mainstream Media (MSM) will try to give the story a “quick-spin” before they sweep it under the rug. The Leftist-Post story, to which you linked, indicates the direction of the “spin”.

      The narrative will be that this was going to be a “Murder-Suicide” all along. The perpetrator took his own life with his own gun. That was his intentional all along. The actions of the “Good Guy with a Gun” were irrelevant. The left-wing narrative of the “Evil Gun” and the “Utopia of Gun Control” is still the holy gossip. This shooting will not be allowed to reinforce the NRA’s heresy against the “True Faith”. It will not be allowed to tarnish the “Religion of the Left-Wing”.

      That will be the “Top Spin” applied by the MSM before they (quietly) just allow this story to die altogether.

      Sorry if I sound cynical. Frankly, I am at the point where I would not believe the MSM if they reported that the Sun was bright. If I saw such a story in the MSM, it would fill me with terror because I would know (for certain) that the Sun had just gone out and that all life on Earth was Doomed! 🙂

      • TN_MAN,

        You are right about the MSM. Even if the killer only meant to kill the girl, and then commit suicide, the school resource officer didn’t know that. Also, the killer would have at least had the capability of firing every bullet into someone IF that had been his intention. The hero did the right thing. He took the correct action. Either he stopped the violence, or he would have stopped the further violence if the killer meant to continue his attack. This still proves that Wayne LaPierre was right, a good man with a gun is the way to stop a bad man with a gun.

  14. I go to the range here in my hometown in north Idaho about 3 times a month and fire at least 25 rounds, sometimes more. Being a retired LEO I like to keep on my qualification targets. My message to the leftists and the mainstream media is simply this regarding my guns “From My Cold Dead Hands.”

  15. Quick off topic bulletin. The Somali Minneapolis Police officer who shot the Australian female visitor 8 months ago has finally been charged.

    As retired LEO this one stunk to high heaven. Due to the demographics of the case, liberals really wanted this to stay out of the media spotlight. Doubt it will reach as high a profile media story as white officer/black suspect.

  16. The media “Spin Doctors” are certainly at work on the Maryland School incident. It is a story that simply does not fit their preferred narrative so it calls for the special attention of the Spinners. So far, we have seen a number of approaches tried such as:

    1) Discrediting the actions of the “Good Guy with a Gun” by casting it as a love-triangle murder-suicide incident with the actions of the “Good Guy” basically being declared irrelevant.

    2) Claiming success for Maryland’s Anti-gun laws because the perpetrator was limited to “just a handgun” instead of a more deadly and evil “Assault Weapon” (whatever that is today!). They ignore the fact that this teen still got a gun into their “gun free” zone and opened up.

    3) Many (as I predicted) are trying to hush-up the story altogether. The “Sweep it under the Rug” approach. See this link:

    4) Some (despite the poor narrative fit) are even trying to spin it into a call for more gun control anyway. See this link:

    Notice this wrinkle. Maryland has already infringed heavily upon the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Even so, this story claims that their is still a “gap” that needs to be filled (with even more gun control measures, of course) for older teens!

    In any other human endeavor, repeated and continuous failure of a policy or approach generates rejection of that approach in favor of trying something else. However, Firearms Prohibition is an amazing exception to this general rule. No matter how many times it fails to produce the desired result, its supporters never lose faith in its “magical” power. Their faith is more steadfast than the “North Star”.

    We are told that many religious people (even those with the strongest faith) have moments of doubt. However, such doubts never come to the Prohibitionists. They always believe that, if they can only hit the right formula or mix of oppressive gun control laws, their blessed, non-violent utopia will dawn before their eyes and the peaceful “Age of Aquarius” will descend upon all of America. Hallelujah!

    What can anyone ever say to such people? What would ever wake them up from their fantasy world?

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