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  1. Interesting article…
    Never knew that about Ms. Roosevelt…or Ms. Rice for that matter.
    But the ultimate thesis of the article is correct – we often vote according to the one or two issues we feel passionate about. One disadvantage to it is the polarization it might lead to, when we could pick a candidate who is “middle of the road” and might appeal to our broader sensibilities on a wider range of issues.
    Another problem however is how much emphasis we place on the Presidency, when its the Legislature that supposedly makes the Law. For example, the President CANNOT remove gun rights simply by virtue of having been elected. (that is only an example:).
    Good food for thought, Ayoob…

  2. I am glad to see you posting a blog. I have greatly enjoyed your articles in Backwoods home. And this gives me another opportunity to enjoy your opinions. I also am greatly grieved that our wonderful country can not come up with better candidates for the Presidency. Maybe it is because of the “other” media that contorts and misrepresents what people say. I know I would hate to be under their scrutiny.

  3. Glad you’re blogging. I really enjoy your articles and enjoy when you are on Guntalk with Tom.

  4. Massad Bob,

    Hillary should be thrown out of her limo in Newark on a Saturday night. She’ll have a whole new appreciation for the rights which she would destroy.

    Folks think John McCain is short tempered. He wore the uniform, swore his oath, flew combat, been shot at, shot down, had the holy cr*p beaten out of him for seven years in a tiger cage. I can understand why he does not suffer fools lightly.

    Really….Eleanor packed heat? Alright!!

    Steve Bob.

  5. All right, Mas!!! I’m thrilled to see that Dave’s browbeaten you into blogging–I read every one of your Backwoods Home articles with riveted attention, and recently bought “In the Gravest Extreme.” I just started blogging myself in February on Poor Richard’s Almanac, and if my experience is anything to go by, you’re going to have a great time! I was hoping against hope that Ron Paul’s Constitutional platform would carry the day. But I just read that Condi Rice may be McCain’s pick as VP, if that’s any consolation. I myself wish we had an Arnold Schwarzenegger/Colin Powell ticket. Now those are candidates I could get behind!

  6. Wow! It’s great to now look forward to your online blogs in addition to the print copy.

    As for the presidential campaign I’m right with you when it comes to Condoleeza Rice. I was born and raised just outside of Birmingham, Alabama and it’s hard to believe that we were living within just a few miles of each other during the “turbulent” 1960’s. Me, a young white kid and she was a little girl living on the other side of town at a time when racial attitudes were quite different.

    Amazing how times and attitudes have changed some 40 years later because she has been a kick-butt secretary of state and one of my top choices for president. I believe that she thoroughly understands the real and present threat toward individual rights. To me, it’s not a guns right’s issue but rather an individual rights issue because I really don’t know too much about the technical aspect of guns at all.

    Yeah, it looks like John McCain will be my choice too eventhough he wasn’t my first, second, or third choice in the primaries but now he seems to be our only “realistic” hope.

  7. Welcome to the bloggosphere Mr. Ayoob! I have taken the (uhum) liberty of adding you to the gunbloggers blog aggregator at so that when you post updates they will be included in the list of new gunblogger posts.

  8. Glad to see you here. I’ve enjoyed your articles in various media over the years.

  9. Welcome (again) to the blogosphere, Mr. Ayoob!

    I’m another who has read you for years, and I’ll echo that “In The Gravest Extreme” is a great book that my wife and I both re-read annually.

    It’s great to see you blogging here… and the “typewriter with a silencer” line really made me laugh out loud.

    Take care, and write lots, please!

  10. Glad to see you, too! I have really enjoyed reading your “stuff” in a number of venues. In addition to your obvious expertise I am impressed at your ability to adapt to your various audiences.

    I am a “recovering Luddite”, myself with a lot of “recovering” left to do. I loved “the typewriter with a silencer” description!

    I didn’t know about “Pistol Packin’ Eleanor”, either. It kind of explains why FDR became such an anti-gunner in his later years!

  11. Agree with your comments. Personally, I don’t like any of the three candidates, but will go with McCain, although I don’t have much confidence in him except that he’s probably an “OK” type guy–no dirty laundry to conceal. I do question his ability on monetary issues as well as statesmanship. Just read where he voted to allow illegal aliens to receive Social Security benefits. What kind of leadership is that?

    Anyway, we decided to arm ourselves, practice a lot, and learn to control our own fate because we can’t count on our government at any level to offer us any feeling of security.

    Unfortunately, we believe the US is another country in its last days and will unfortunately lose it’s world leadership position just as every other world power has done over the centuries. The sad part is the destruction is coming from inside with a bunch of liberal “whiners” who obviously have never needed to live with a budget and earn their own way. They just live off the taxpayers and produce nothing.

  12. Thanks for taking this step – you have already proved you are breaking out of the Luddite shell with the comment that blogs allow more personal expression. It is this comment that compels me to write…

    Your (and others) focus on the real issues of personal and home security via common sense articles written in various magazines over the years have provided a welcome contrast to the gadget-addicted focus of many others. Our household and personal behavior has been influenced toward greater safety and security in part by you, and I was pleased and not surprised to find your name on articles in BHM when I “discovered” the magazine years ago.

    Enough starry-eyed fan worship! I would like you to add your comments, in a more personal, ruthless-as-possible manner, to the endless flow of information available on the Whirled Wide Web about the effectiveness and operational reliability of inexpensive, surplus type self loading weapons. I am particularly interested in widely available Russian SKS, AK, type carbines and their clones. We are a common-sense, responsible rural family not far to your East and North looking to expand our lever, bolt, and revolver type weapons to include practical self loading weapons. We place a premium on reliability and have changed over the years from “running junk” (cars, saws, mowers, etc) to making carefully planned purchases of better-quality equipment that works when we need to use it.

    Sticking to the above “formula” as it relates to personal security, we would acquire a pistol-carbine-rifle battery that pretty much mirrors US-issued small arms: the Colt pattern .45, an AR type carbine (preferably converted from direct gas impingement to gas piston operation), and an M1A-type rifle. Equipping a family of two responsible adults with the above, “one per” of each type, accessories, and a moderate stock of ammo approaches Ten Grand pretty quickly for something that does not till soil, move snow, or help produce a stack of hardwood.

    I have been at ranges to observe and shoot surplus/inexpensive ammo in relatively expensive AR type weapons, which as you well know quickly reduces those slick .223s from the status of “firearm” to “club”. I have also seen AK & SKS variants digest everything short of small rocks propelled by a couple firecrackers. I am therefore interested in the latter, which apparently seem to have magically crossed that “you get what you pay for” boundary – cheap AND reliable.

    I have plowed my way through sites/forums like AKrocksdotcom and studlyARshooterdotorg, and in all the time spent doing so I keep wondering what writers like you, freed from the commercial constraints of magazine publishing, would have to say about the reliability and relative value of the Eastern Bloc brothers (comrades?) to our American weaponry.

    Sorry for the length of this comment, but…I dare ya!

  13. It would be nice if we could trust politicians to fulfill their promises. Here in Canada, much to the disgust of many, The Liberals forced through a gun registry program.
    Along came the Conservatives, promising, “Vote for us, and we will get rid of the gun registry.” Well, the Conservatives sort of forgot about that promise, once elected. Now,with maybe another election coming, they are even bold enough to try the same trick again in their “vote for us promotions.”
    It seems the gun registry will be here forever, regardless of any vote finangling promises, probably to be followed, at some critical time, by confiscation, since the state is the natural enemy of the citizen’s rights.
    What politicians say to get votes, and what they do are often quite different. That is one thing that never changes.
    The Canadian citizen who believes in his right to responsible unfettered gun ownership, has no one to vote for. By the way, up to now, it seems there has not yet been any report of any criminal element at any time registering a gun.

  14. Mr. Ayoob,
    After watching you on Personal Defense TV for about a month (before it disappeared), I have been reading your works with great interest and appreciation.
    I agree with you that we are not well served by this crop of “candidates”. None of the three respect the principles of our founders or the laws set forth. Your gut is right: “But if the candidate takes a position that goes against logic, common sense, and the Bill of Rights, it’s a warning signal that our vote should be withheld from them.” McCain is not our friend. His assault on the 1st amendment was unexpected. Fool me once…
    Backwoods is all about outside the box thinking. Please consider another candidate.
    Thanks for using foist in your first outing.

  15. I am glad to see you grappling with the computer and blogging for us. I enjoy reading your articles, and as a single Mom living out in nowheresville, I’ve learned quite a bit about protecting myself and my child from your writings.

    Keep up the good work!

  16. I am glad that you have started to blog here and look forward to reading your posts! You are, unfortunately, correct that the only viable candidate is Mccain. Gunowners in America will have to look to our Senators and Congresspeople and elect as many pro-2A members as they can to help stymie the gun grabbers.

    Again, I am glad to see your blogging on BHM!

  17. Reading of your enthusiasm for Rice as a Presidential candidate, I wondered what you felt when she made this comment the other day:

    “But clearly, the prime minister has laid down some ground rules which any functioning democratic state would insist upon, having to do with, you know, arms belonging to the state, not to — not in private hands,” she said. “The current circumstances come out of what I think is a very important and indeed appropriate action that the Iraqi government has taken.”

    Arms belong to the state and should not be in private hands?? I don’t know about you but that is the polar opposite of my thinking on this increasinly important issue. I’d really like to get your comment on this, if you’d oblige.

  18. Mr. Ayoob,
    Thank you for sharing. I began my interest as an 18 year old boy seeking truth in a house of New Jersey Democrats. I found your books, Cooper and Farnam to be fascinating. I have tried to share and spread the word. I developed a lust of information on the second amendment and the right to self defense. We have come along way from 1985 but it still amazes me that the truth is not told in mainstream news media. I hope that I will get to LFI soon and have the pleasure to shake your hand.
    Thanks Again,
    Chris Lenny
    New Jersey

  19. Welcome Mas!

    I read your stuff in AH regularly, & look forward to your input here as well.

    From one NH boy to another… best wishes.

    Jack in NH

  20. Dear Mr. Ayoob,

    First off, I just would like to thank you for sharing your knowledge. I am a recent gun owner. I am a man of faith, and for most of my life, athough pro-gun, I felt I had no need for a firearm. personally. I was not inclined to trade my life for another.

    However, in 2006 I married a beautiful young gal. And in 2007 my daughter was born. I now have two extremely precious objects in my life to protect. And frankly, if it comes to the lives of a two-bit criminal or my wife and daughter – no question.

    My mother-in-law bought us our first firearm. Neither my wife nor I have much experience in firearms (a little .22 riflery in our childhoods, that was it). I opted for a Ruger .22 MKIII. I felt that this unit would allow us to practice (very affordable ammo) and would give us an opportunity to learn how to shoot accurately, safe handling, and maintenance. (Okay, little did I know how challenging the MK III assembly/disassembly could be…every other gun has been easy comparatively. *lol*)

    It was not long before I picked up our second firearm at a gun show in Harrisburg, PA. A used Ruger GP100 .357 stainless 6″. I was surprised at how accurate this firearm was. I was also surprised by the difference in feel of the .38+P versus .357 Magnum rounds. While I enjoy both, my wife found the latter to be over-powerful for her. She fired once and handed the revolver back to me. I quickly fell in love with the GP100. (I’d gone with Ruger because my father once owned a Security-Six. And praised it highly.)

    I found your article on “Preparing gun owners for the short-term future.” I thought it was interesting that your first choice for candidate was the same as mine – Condi Rice. My second choices were Ron Paul & Huckabee. Instead we seem to be left with the “Trinity of Sleaze”. We have McCain the father, Obama the son and Hillary the unholy spirit. Three people – one politician! (Okay, McCain is slightly better on gun control but still not what I’d view as a strong candidate.) Why are we increasingly becoming more of a one-issue voter? I think it’s because we are feeling as if many of our rights and freedoms may be jeopardized in the not-too-distant future. And this one right…protects all our other rights.

    Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is also in the midst of bitter legislative fights on gun control. It’s Philly & Pittsburgh versus the rest of the state. And I think Ed Rendell would collect up all the guns if he could.

    Anyways, this has inclined me to endeavor to acquire a few firearms over the next year. Thankfully, Uncle Sam has been very helpful in this by sending our family $1,500 of our taxes back to us in order to help the economy. Rather than spend such money on consumer electronics to the benefit of China. I decided to spend that money in America. I picked up a Ruger P-345 .45 ACP. I was looking at Glocks (as my father quite admired them). But when I tried a couple I did not care for the fit in my hand nor the trigger pull. I was aware that there are different pulls available for Glocks – but hand feel, was not something I could easily change. I’m a short stocky Italian guy, strong hands but not very long fingers. I then picked up the Ruger P-345. It felt wonderful in my hand. My finger reacher around and locked on the trigger just about at the nuckle point. I dry fired. I really like the trigger, it felt very similar to my GP100. I purchased what is my first service class pistol.

    I want to thank you because you were a very integral part of this purchase. I have been reading a copy of your guide to Combat Hand-gunnery and have found it very informative. (It’s currently my bathroom book, I read a few sections at a time.) While it is my intention to enroll my wife and myself for both the NRA First Steps and Basic Pistol. However, when we have found courses available they’ve conflicted with out schedule, been too far away, etc. I hope to complete them this summer. Meanwhile, I sought out other means of gaining such information and guidance. Frequented a number of forums. Then found your book. I just wanted to thank you … for sharing your wealth of knowlege.

    Jason Epperson
    York, Pennsylvania.

    PS – If you have time to answer the following, I would be greatly appreciate. What firearms types do you consider one should have in their repository. Or perhaps you could answer this as an article.

    This is what I have been planning to purchase, but if I am missing something that should be on this list. Please let me know.

    – Target .22 pistol (acquired: MK Hunter) – .22 ammo is cheap, good introduction, good gun to introduce my children to hand-gunnery.

    – .357 revolver (acquired: GP100) – why? long-term reliability.

    – Service Pistol that is semi-concealabe (acquired: P-345)

    – Compact Carry. Something my wife could carry in her handbag, or could be carried in a sock holster. Considering Ruger LPC .380

    – Shotgun (but what guage? what type? minimum round capacity, etc.)

    – Accurate Rifle w/scope – something for longer range targets.

    — 22LR/22Mag Revolver (No real reason, just for fun. Need to keep some fun in the collection as well. )

    Is there anything I should be considering that I am not. Or considering that I need not consider.

    One thing you didn’t mention regarding your article. How long is the shelf life of ammo? This constrains my purchasing.

  21. Welcome, Jason.

    As to your questions:

    Rule of thumb in the industry is 10 year shelf life for ammo, but practically speaking, currently produced ammo lasts almost indefinitely if stored in a cool, dry place.

    Shotgun: you probably want more than the two shots in a double, so a magazine gun is in order. A slide action takes a lot of practice to operate reflexively, so an autoloader gets the nod for starters. If your wife is sensitive to .357 revolver recoil, she’ll probably be sensitive to 12 gauge too, so a 20 gauge auto seems to be the best bet.

    In a .22 revolver for fun, it’s tough to beat Smith & Wesson… the Model 617 K-22 may seem a little big, but it’s exquisitely accurate. An alternative is the super-light (about 10 ounce), plinker-accurate Model 317 8-shot, which also makes a great pocket gun for snakes, etc. at close range.

    For a precision rifle, a heavy barrel .308 bolt action will have moderate recoil, but ample reach. You’ll have a wide choice of factory ammo and of gun models.

    Good luck,

  22. Welcome to the Blogosphere. Love the silencer comment too – looks like I’m not the only one it gave a chuckle too.

    I’m with you on the Condi Rice idea – sure would be a treat to see her as the Veep with McCain as a previous commenter mentioned!

    Thanks for all you do – and big kudos to all the folks at BHM. I’m slowly converting my hubby to a BHM addict. I mean – reader. ;-P

  23. I just discovered your blog today – I check in from time-to-time to read your backwoods articles – living in rural NC, I have no idea why I haven’t just subscribed to the magazine since your articles are usually terrific and the other articles I read online are often pretty good too.

    While I agree with just about everything you’ve written on guns and shooting, I guess we’ll have to just agree to disagree on politics. I’m anything but a one-issue voter, and on Condi, we definitely diverge. I like John a lot more than Ms. Rice, who’s a naif on so much that’s not Soviet history and politics (that was her specialty).

    Nevertheless, in this election I’m having to step to the other side of the aisle because so many other issues are important besides my love of shooting – the economy, the deficit, the war in Iraq (which is far different than the GWOT) – and I think John isn’t prepared to change course, and even if he were, the party wouldn’t.

    I’m hoping a four to eight year enema will clean out the problems that have accumulated over the last seven years, and count on this nation’s love of personal rights, including the 2nd amendment, to keep the new crowd’s hands off my guns.

    Keep up the good writing – I enjoying reading your articles, which are the best there is on all things guns.