Yesterday was my father’s birthday. If he’d lived past 88, he’d be 120 years old today. Born in 1900, he lived through two world wars and the Great Depression. He and his father, the first of our linear family to arrive in this country, both had to shoot criminals to survive. Not surprisingly, Dad brought his only son up with a gun in his hand, and in the house and in the family jewelry store, where I carried a gun at the age of 12 when I started working there. (It was legal in that time and place. Ayoob’s Law #9: Never break the law, know the law better than the other guy and you’ll probably never feel a need to break it.) He told me that if it was just a robbery, offer to carry the cash register to the getaway car for them, but if I thought the armed robbers were going to kill, put them down first and by surprise. His teaching was the genesis of what wound up being my life’s work.

Now, during the pandemic crisis, it pains me to see that twits on Twitter and fools on the Internet are giving dystopic “kill them all and let God sort them out” advice.  They seem to think “Walking Dead” was a training film instead of fantasy entertainment. Got news for those folks: history shows us that after disasters that break down society, society comes back, and applies all the rules it had before. I have an article on this very topic, with case studies, coming out in my Self-Defense and the Law column in Combat Handguns magazine, in the July-August 2020 issue.

I know none of you are gonna get all bloodthirsty and if society breaks down, put a sign up in front of your house saying “We have toilet paper, food, and booze: come and get it if you dare.”

I do, however, have to share with you something I received from my old friend John Bellah who, like me, is a retired cop in the senior citizen age bracket.  He did his decades of police time in California. Speaking of the current crisis and fears of societal breakdown, he writes:

“I just read your article on the home invasion in Jacksonville, Florida. Foster Coker’s armament after the incident reminds me when Richard Ramirez (aka The Nightstalker) was terrorizing Southern California. He picked yellow, single story residences, with sliding glass doors, located within a mile of a freeway off-ramp, in a cul-de-sac. I was chatting with an LAPD buddy about how our house fit the profile except it wasn’t yellow. We kept the St. Bernard inside, Mossberg 500 under the bed and my Detective Special in the nightstand. (Back then my department limited me to .38 Special). The LAPD Copper exclaimed; ‘You son-of-a-bitch! I’ll bet you’re painting your house yellow, too!’ I replied I wasn’t repainting, but my next door neighbor’s house IS yellow—and he IS nervous.’”

If the first victim(s) of The Nightstalker had been able to reach a six-shot .38 Detective Special and/or a 12-gauge pump shotgun, the murder spree would have likely been nipped in the bud. My retired friend in California, like me, now has somewhat more sophisticated protective hardware than that.

That home invasion article, if you haven’t seen it, can be found here:  Note when  you read it that the husband and wife who had to kill the home invader immediately called 9-1-1 as soon as the death battle was over, and were treated very fairly by the justice system.

If you have panicky friends who think “Walking Dead” is about to become a documentary, tell them, “NO! At worst, it’s gonna be the Rodney King riot in LA or the looting that followed Hurricane Katrina…and our world is gonna come back when it’s over!”


    • Protecting against home invasion under the status quo is one thing, but resisting Hurricane Katrina-like confiscation seems to be another. Keeping in mind that the authorities generally are not automatically required these days to “tell the truth,” is not turnabout fair play? Are we at least not allowed to refuse to speak to potential confiscators? What happens if we ask to see a search warrant or a judicial order, or at least some kind of supportive LEO credentials? I do not generally fear peace officers or the National Guard. Some of the possibly well-meaning leftist, PC, ruthless Utopians in higher authority, however, seem to think in a box and to yearn for God knows what. Let us stop the misuse of crises! IMHO, abrogating our Constitution is “pushing the envelope” of sensible authority. Most of us have a will to help others, but our nation also has a heritage of Constitutional search-and-seizure protection. If this tradition has been lost, it needs to return.

  1. You are so right. As we know, most gun people are very law-abiding. If one of these Yahoos acts out his fantasy, the fake news reporters will be sure it becomes a major, long-lasting headline. Does anyone remember the peaceful gun owner gathering in Richmond, VA January 20th? Nah, peace is not exciting. “If it bleeds, it leads.”

    As for always obeying the law, because of corrupt lawmakers, I can’t say I will obey the law 100% of the time. But I can say I will do what is right 100% of the time. Everything Hitler did was legal, but it wasn’t right.

    I suppose if “legal” is defined as Constitutional, in line with Natural Law, and God’s Law, then yes, I will always do what is legal. The Constitution is the supreme law of this land.

  2. Hello Massad, you always offer good points to ponder. I had never heard about your family background. Someday I will get to take a course of two taught by you.
    Stay safe.

  3. Sound advice,thanks. Also,alot of people have home security/doorbell cameras pull some kind “mad max”,shoot first,ask questions later stunt,its all on it cool,think it through.

  4. Mas:

    Thanks for sending this out. Family lineage is number one. The sooner this is over the better.

  5. Slightly off topic, Was, I was talking with Al MacArthur yesterday and he said that you have a MAG 40 pencilled in at Londenderry fo this summer, rules permitting. If that happens, I’ll be looking forward to attending again.

  6. “Got news for those folks: history shows us that after disasters that break down society, society comes back, and applies all the rules it had before.”

    I have had the opportunity to study human behavior during disasters, and something that I found is that the people who are most successful are those who form alliances with neighbors and support each other through the crisis. Loners hiding behind window blinds never have all of the skills that are required during recovery, while cooperative neighbors who pool their knowledge and resources do much better. No one can stay awake and vigilant 24/7, nor do many individuals have all of the skills and resources necessary to recover. It is not surprising that groups of neighbors who watch out for trouble and work together in response to do much better.

    • David D,

      Thanks for those wise words. It’s the old saying, “There is strength in numbers.”

      I imagine in a Without Rule of Law situation areas would eventually be controlled by gangs. In Africa the gang leaders are called “warlords.” Obviously the strongest gang will prevail, so if people want to survive, they should want their neighbors to help them form the strongest gang. The word “gang” has negative connotations, but there could be good gangs like The Guardian Angels and The Magnificent Seven.

      I am part of a mutual assistance group, but we all realize that in the initial stages of Doomsday we will all be stuck, for good or bad, with our neighbors. Look at Americans, and others, today. We are now stuck with our neighbors, except for those who bugged out.

      My guess is lone wolves distrust other people, and they probably have trouble getting along with others anyway. They are not team players. They will last until a stronger force discovers them, or their health fails. Maybe they want it that way. I love being around good, helpful, talented people with skills.

  7. When I hear those types of remarks, “kill them all and let God sort them out”, I generally have to consider the source and for the most part dismiss it as a lot of hot air. I have learned that a wise man listens quietly while a foolish man blabbers.

    As always, thank you for your insight and experience.

    Marvin H.

  8. Hi Mas,
    I agree overall with your point about how people tend to characterize these things in extremes. A “walking dead” scenario is of course unrealistic, although something equivalent to the LA Riots spread across the whole country sounds worse in a lot of ways!

    However, don’t you think that a return to the norms of modern society and modern standards of living depends an awful lot on the economy’s ability to support it? The U.S. has always done particularly well at recovering from its worst times, but one can look to countries like Argentina where economic devastation changed societal norms almost permanently. I would hope more than anything for it to be true that the U.S. will continue to be resilient, but certainly this has not been the case for other countries, so is the return of “normal society” really such a rule of thumb? Regardless of how the U.S. does I think a lot of other countries (particularly 3rd world countries) may see some societal upheaval.

    Michael H. (thankful to be a MAG-40/80 graduate before this all hit, and looking forward to Deadly Force Instructor later this year 😉

    • @ Michael H – “However, don’t you think that a return to the norms of modern society and modern standards of living depends an awful lot on the economy’s ability to support it? The U.S. has always done particularly well at recovering from its worst times, but one can look to countries like Argentina where economic devastation changed societal norms almost permanently.”

      The U.S. is not immune to this kind of change. When the Stock Market collapsed, in 1929, and kicked off The Great Depression, the American Left took advantage of it. Their motto of “Never let a crisis go to Waste” is not new. The Left has always sought to use a crisis to it’s advantage.

      The Great Depression was exploited by the American Left to get FDR elected as President. FDR (and his wife) were both radical leftists. They exploited The Great Depression to install a whole catalog of left-wing programs including anti-gun legislation (The National Firearms Act of 1934 followed by the Federal Firearms Act of 1938). Notice the switch in titles from “National” to “Federal” as the Left consolidated power in Washington.

      This exploitative action of the American Left allowed them to seize and centralize power in Washington at the expense of the States. We are still suffering from this leftist power grab today.

      Most of the history books (which are written by the victors) praise FDR for his efforts to “fight” the Great Depression with Federal Programs. For this reason, many Americans (even today) believe that FDR was a Great President.

      In reality, his programs may have prolonged the Great Depression. Certainly, it did not truly end until WW II powered the economy. It is questionable about whether FDR and the Left really wanted a quick end to The Great Depression. After all, their exploitation of it allowed them to come to power and implement their agenda. Why would they ever want it to end?

      The American Left, faced with the problem of Donald Trump, has gone back to the old Playbook. They are using this pandemic, and their propaganda power in the Anti-American Media, to crash the economy and bring on a Second Great Depression. They hope to exploit the resulting economic crisis, just like they did a century ago, to vanquish President Trump, to re-seize power in Washington and then push forward with their (Trump-interrupted) agenda of transforming America into a Socialist State.

      “Never let a Crisis go to Waste”. It is an enduring theme of the Left. It is a shame that the vast majority of the public always seems gullible enough to fall for it. That is one reason that the Left is so keen to control the Education System and then teach a distorted and weak vision of World and American History. They always want the public to be dumb so that they can continue to pull their “Monkey Tricks” again and again and again.

      Yes Sir, the Left spins the wheel and the same spoke comes up again. The Great Depression – Version 2.0 – Here we come! Wonder who the Left will use to be the next FDR? Certainly Biden is not up to the role.

      • @ Strategic Steve – Perhaps. There is a theory that Biden is just being used as a “Place Holder”. The theory goes that, before or during the Democrat Convention, Biden will step down (or be shoved out of the way) and THE ONE will emerge to take his place.

        A variation on this theory is that the Democrats will actually nominate Biden but make sure that he has a strong, radical leftist as his VP pick. Under this variation, if Biden happens to win and beat Trump (unlikely) then he will soon step aside, after taking office, and let his VP take over. If he fails to win, the theory is that Biden will still help the Democrats, down ballet, and maybe they can hold onto the House, and even take the Senate, despite Trump winning up top.

        I favor the first theory myself. Democrats don’t ever concede defeat. They want TRUMP GONE and they (and their Media Attack Dogs) are willing to LIE and CHEAT and CRASH the ECONOMY to get there. They always want more and more and more POWER. They won’t settle for just holding onto the House.

        So, I expect THE ONE to emerge and replace Biden before the general election. I just can’t say who THE ONE is at this point. That was the gist of my question in my comment above.

        Like they say in the Matrix: Who is THE ONE?

        It sure in Hades is not Keanu Reeves! 🙂

      • TN_MAN:

        I’ve been reading your statements here for awhile and come to the conclusion that you are a true historian and a very wise man. Your description of the FDR regime is dead on accurate and I’m glad to see someone other than myself and a few others knows how evil FDR and his predecessors like Woodrow Wilson, and many successors such as Truman, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama really are. Thanks for spreading the word to the many ignorant among us poor peasants. Unfortunately, so many ‘useful idiots’ in America have consumed too much liberal Kool Aid to be set on the right path.

      • Carmela Harris or Michelle Obama would be the obvious choices. What liberal would not want The Messiah’s wife to be POTUS and Obama could basically have a third and maybe even fourth term? Heck, just change the Constitution and make them co-presidents for life? Hillary would be popular, but she’s the wrong color.

      • @ Tom606 – Thank you for those kind words.

        You put your finger on a major problem with the American People. Their general lack of historical knowledge. You occasionally see stories on this lack of knowledge on Fox News. Some reporter will talk to people, at random, on the streets of some American city and ask people very basic questions about American History. Often simple stuff like who was President during the Civil War or who did America fight during the War of 1812? The result is always a breathtaking display of vast historical ignorance.

        Part of the reason for this vast ignorance is the general lack of interest in history as a subject of study. However, a major part is the Left-Wing dominance of American Education. As I noted in a comment above, it is useful to the Left for the Public to be ignorant of History. It allows the Left to re-cycle all of the dirty tricks in their playbook and use them again and again and again. With no knowledge of history, each dirty trick becomes “New Again” and remains effective.

        It is only by looking at the broad sweep of history that one can see the pattern of the Left’s climb to power in America. Each Left-Wing President advances the ball down the field. For example:

        Woodrow Wilson and the Left helped pass the 16th Amendment which allowed the Income Tax. This was a critical step in providing funding to the all-powerful, centralized government model favored by the Left.

        As I noted above, FDR exploited The Great Depression to greatly expand the power of the central government.

        LBJ exploited the chaos of the Vietnam War to pass his Great Society Programs which expanded government power, at the expense of the American Citizen, even more.

        Jimmy Carter dealt a wicked blow to America by creating the Department of Education. This laid the foundation for the Left-Wing indoctrination camps that form the American Education System today.

        And I don’t even have to get into the left-wing advances made during the Clinton and Obama Administrations. They are recent history.

        We see the problem. Once Big Government is granted POWER, it is never, never, never given up. Therefore, each left-wing advance is “cemented” in-place and waits until the next advance. No one ever rolls back anything done by previous Left-Wing Administrations. At least, not anything major. Therefore, slowly and surely, the American Citizen is being crushed in the Python Grip of the Left. Once the American Spirit is dead, America will be swallowed by the Left-Wing Python and become yet another Socialist State.

        You know what they say about Socialism. You can vote yourself into Socialism but you have to shoot yourself out of it. That is why Firearms Prohibition is JOB #1 for the American Left and their Media attack dogs. Once we are disarmed, we shall NEVER escape from the coils of the Leftist Python. At least not as a People. Death will still be there to help individuals escape in the end. If the Leftists have sway, DEATH will be our ONLY ESCAPE HATCH!

        It is getting closer ever day. Look at how many of our Rights we are losing in this Pandemic Craze alone. Come along, the Left is saying to us. We will keep you safe. All you have to do is wear our CHAINS!

        Sadly, so many Americans seem to be eager today to wear chains. Patrick Henry must be rolling over in his GRAVE right NOW!

      • TN_MAN,

        “We will keep you safe. All you have to do is wear our CHAINS!” That comment hit the bull’s eye.

        Here’s a comment just on the issue of spending. The government should tax the people just enough to pay for limited, essential functions. You can bet the American people throughout time have been very productive, producing huge revenues for the government. A big pile of tax money would be very tempting to anyone. It’s not hard to imagine politicians giving in to the temptation to spend other peoples’ money.

        In the 1960s, LBJ looked at that pile of money and felt confident enough to spend it on the anti-poverty programs of The Great Society, the Vietnam War, and NASA space programs ALL AT THE SAME TIME!! No wonder the government is broke. Supreme over-confidence.

      • Let’s not forget that Jimmy Carter tricked the U.S. Congress into giving away our Panama Canal, which Panama then turned over to the Communist Chinese who currently operates it. Theodore Roosevelt pushed for the Panama Canal and it was American money, technology, sweat, and blood that made it a reality. Then that traitorous, buck toothed Georgia peanut farmer gave it away, and most likely made himself a pile of money.

  9. I get to thinking about my father at times as well. He was one of the smartest, uneducated men I have ever known in my life. And he was also one of the kindest, most giving men I have known as well.
    He worked his entire life as a factory worker, a foundry worker, in fact. Myself, in high school, I had a number of directions I could have gone. I was an All American Musician my senior year. I had offers to play college football, and offers to walk on for baseball at a couple of small colleges.
    What route did I take? Yup, I spent 35 years making steel in a melt shop. Metal for things such as gun barrels, gun parts, knee and hip implants, jet engines, boat propellers, and anything that required a special steel. We sold the steel to investment casters, a few might be familiar, like Pine Tree Castings, Sturm Ruger, Kirschner/Biomet, among hundreds.
    I never regretted my choice of working as a laborer for a living. I made more money doing that than I ever could have made had I been a school teacher like a brother. And I realized that in part, I achieved some of what my father had been. He would give of himself to anyone in need. He drove a football team mate home every day after practice, out in the country, about 10 miles, because the family was a farming family, and they would not let him play, if he could not find his own way home. He originally was walking, but when my dad found out, he stopped that in a hurry.
    Later in life, my parents bought a restaurant, and they often fed people with no money. The would buy things that people who had no money. My dad bought a Jennings .22, for 50$ from a guy who needed some money. Now that I am nearing 60, and financially stable, I am able to sneak a few dollars to someone who looks like they could use it, buy who is not actually panhandling. I have found that they tend to be phony’s around her, who have decent cars, and such, but chose to panhandle for money, rather than work.
    My dad has been gone for 6 years now, he died one year after my mom, almost to the day. I still find times where I wish I could pick up the phone and give him a call.

    • Condolences on the loss of your parents, bro. I know the feeling. Sounds as if you had a great dad…and your dad had a great son.

  10. I pray, multiple times a day, that civil unrest, civil war, or any other disturbance NEVER graces our shores. I’ve read the realities when such things happened in Bosnia, Argentina, and many African nations, and it’s beyond nightmarish what happens to people in such circumstances.

    If you think that a civil war is needed, then read the narratives about Bosnia.

    • A high school classmate who went on to a full career in the Canadian army, in which I later served as a reservist, was in Bosnia at the applicable time. He saw the atrocities and was forever changed. We can’t afford to have civil unrest here, no matter what.

    • My daughter was in Bosnia a couple of years ago. Her impression was that they had put the war behind them and never wanted to do anything like that again. Reinforces the opening comment from Mas.

  11. HI MAS! I hit 90 two days ago. My 45 is loaded ready to go. I have been a certified firearms
    instructor for 30 years, I know my students are ready if law and order goes by the wayside.
    They will defend their family and win. You do what you have to do.

  12. I just turned 30 last year. Having grown up in the Midwest, I’ve never experienced a situation of this sort before. When I asked my mother, the closest thing she could think of was the oil crisis back in the 1970’s. I do not know what will happen going forward, although I am hopeful we will back to normal by the end of year.

    Right now, I’m just going about my life like normal. I’m not looking for trouble, and I’ve only been shooting for three years. But I will protect myself and the people important to me if push comes to shove.

  13. One of my clients, a free lance socialist with a violent bent, decided to do a home invasion here in Michigan in 2014. As he was kicking at the door the homeowner yelled “we have children here.” My client kept kicking and the homeowner yelled “ I have a gun.” Ultimately, my soon to be former client got in, was shot, and made it about 50 feet before he bled out.

    One of the interesting parts of the story has to do with prosecutorial discretion. The homeowner was a convicted felon, but somehow the authorities had enough sense to do the right thing and he was never charged with possession of the gun.

    I’m not encouraging felons to possess firearms. I’m just saying that sometimes a greater justice is done.

  14. Great read! I have just one comment; in the article you state “society comes back, and applies all the rules it had before” and I would add “and then some”. What I hope Americans will be watching for is that some of these “emergency” measures that are supposed to be temporary will become permanent. We saw that after 9/11 and we’ll likely see it after this. It’s up to all of us to be engaged and to protect our rights or we’ll lose them a little at a time.

  15. Mas, one more thing we have in common – my father’s birthday is the same as your Dad’s…but in 1935. He just turned 85. I hope he gets to stick around a while longer. I’ll treasure him as long as I can!

    Sam Young

  16. I always prefer reading about firearms info here rather than would-be analyses of political machinations. The real evildoer in our history is the Federal Reserve, created by the biggest bankers in the U.S. in the middle of the night and those guys sure weren’t leftists. The Left may have an agenda I don’t like but the Current Occupant strikes out on competence, morality, integrity, and decency and I don’t care if Bugs Bunny knocks him out of the box in November, unless he finds a way to coopt or suspend the elections, always a possibility.

    • @ StevefromMA – “Current Occupant strikes out on competence, morality, integrity, and decency and I don’t care if Bugs Bunny knocks him out of the box in November…”

      The repeated cry of those who suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome. The hate is so deep that they can’t even speak his name. He is the “Current Occupant” or the “Bad Orange Man” or even something worse. The NOT MY PRESIDENT mindset is so clear. I don’t believe that I have ever heard a single TDS sufferer call him by his Official Title: President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

      Even when compelled to do so, the TDS sufferer will still find some way to avoid doing it properly. Example: The recent State of the Union introduction by House Speaker Pelosi:

      In my opinion, Former President Obama was one of the worst presidents that we have had in decades. Yet, I for one, cannot deny that he was elected (twice) into that position. I never suffered from Obama Derangement Syndrome although I will admit that I am glad he is out-of-office and is no longer doing damage to the USA with the Power of the Presidency.

      The TDS folks, however, choke on their tongues when it comes to acknowledging that President Trump won the 2016 Election.

      No wonder you don’t like to read about “would-be analyses of political machinations”. Reading the comments of someone who holds an opposing viewpoint is most uncomfortable for the TDS afflicted.

      I get that. However, sticking your head in the sand won’t make the opposing viewpoint go away. A lot of us think that President Trump has done a good job and we are “sick to death” with this constant TDS name-calling and back-biting.

      Anyone can insult President Trump. The Anti-American Media does it 10,000 times a day. Just be advised that insults and mud-slinging likely won’t win the 2020 Presidential Election.

      If President Trump wins re-election this November, with a clear majority, will you still be sarcastically referring to him as just the “Current Occupant”? I would guess the answer is “Probably So”. I have seen few people truly cured of TDS when they have it this bad.

    • StevefromMA,

      In November of 2016 American voters had a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

      Uncle Sam is dying. Trump is like a surgeon doing everything he can to save the patient. Dr. Hillary would remove Uncle Sam from life support and give him an overdose of morphine to euthanize him.

      In 2016, the voters made the right choice. You might not like the blue collar billionaire, but he is trying to save your life.

Comments are closed.