One of the highlights of my 2015 SHOT Show experience would have been catching up with world-renowned firearms and self-defense expert Massad Ayoob. I say “would have been” because, unfortunately, he didn’t make the show this year as his girlfriend came down with a bad case of bronchitis at the last minute. Mas, being the good guy that he is, stayed behind to take care of his better half as she convalesces (See, Mas can teach you more than just about how to defend yourself with a firearm, he can give you a valuable lesson in chivalry as well!). So, instead of chatting face to face and getting his one-of-a-kind stentorian voice on camera, I had to email him my questions. The questions you may recognize as four out of the five centered around discussion topics I wrote this past year. I wanted to get Mas perspective on those hot-button questions we debated.
Here are the discussion articles for your reference followed by my Q&A with Mas. Feel free to join the conversation in the comment section below.
WHEN IS IT WARRANTED TO SHOOT SOMEONE OVER PROPERTY?
SHOOT FIRST OR ATTEMPT TO DE-ESCALATE DURING HOME INVASION?
WOULD YOU PURSUE FLEEING BURGLARS OR WAIT ON POLICE TO ARRIVE?
DOES CARRYING OPENLY MAKE YOU A TARGET?
S.H. Blannelberry: Under what circumstance would you shoot someone over property (assuming that there is no imminent threat of death or great bodily harm)?
Massad Ayoob: None that I can think of.
S.H. Blannelberry: Your home is being invaded, do you shoot first or attempt to de-escalate the situation?
Massad Ayoob: Situation-dependent. If the “invader” is apparently unarmed, and known to be some “harmless character,” i.e., town drunk or neighbor with mental illness, and is not violently acting out: consider negotiating or taking at gunpoint. If obvious armed criminal, shoot.
S.H. Blannelberry: Given your experience, training and expertise with firearms, would you pursue a fleeing burglar or would you wait for police to arrive?
Massad Ayoob: Definitely, wait for police to arrive.
S.H. Blannelberry: Do you think open carry makes one a target?
Massad Ayoob: I can’t say that it DOES, but it obviously CAN make you a target…not only of criminals, but of random showoffs, drunks, etc.
S.H. Blannelberry: On the subject of concealed carry, what issuing standard do you prefer? Constitutional or permitless carry? Shall-Issue? Do you believe some type of training should be required before one bears arms in public?
Massad Ayoob: Permitless carry has worked out remarkably well in jurisdictions that have it. Permitless carry is not going to be politically feasible in some jurisdictions, however. I am happy with shall-issue. Substantial training requirements have a disparate impact on the poor and some others who need concealed carry most; if such requirements became necessary, I would rather see testing for competency than X number of hours required. Any live fire competency test should be something an arthritic great-grandmother could pass with an inherited gate-loading revolver, again because such people are among those most in need of concealed carry.
Big thanks to Mas for taking the time to answer some questions. To learn more about how you can get in touch with this master gun instructor, check out MassadAyoobGroup.com. Hopefully, I get a chance to chat with him in person at NRA this year.