Monthly Archives: July 2014

MAG40 Notes 4

Internet adolescent: “Shoot him inside, drag him outside, put a kitchen knife in his hand.” This is very stupid. It is untruthful, dishonorable, and unlikely to work. Forensics can figure that shit out. This makes you a liar and undermines the true statements you might make later. It’s also obstruction of justice and might be construed as premeditation. Giving such advice is subordination of perjury and is a felony.

Don’t give this advice.

Ball ammo tends to overpenetrate. Be sure of your target and what is beyond. You are accountable for the stuff beyond the target. Even if you miss, JHP has much less tendency to overpenetrate.

If the prosecution refers to the JHP ammo you carry as “cop killer bullets” or something, call a police officer as a witness, and ask what he carries.

Hollow points are, counterintuitively, more humane. You have fewer average shots before a reliable stop. A guy shot fewer times has fewer holes from which to bleed to death. A faster and more reliable stop also limits badguy’s ability to continue badguying.

Choose a load for reliability, controllability, optimum penetration, , reduced ricochet, and a proven field record. (Next time someone posts on /r/guns about the latest iteration of the solid copper hollow point, point to the lack of a track record.)

A furtive movement is a sudden, suspicious movement consistent with going for a weapon but not reasonably indicative of anything else under the circumstances. In and of itself a furtive movement does not justify the use of lethal force. It indicates the ability to cause harm (he has a weapon) but not the opportunity or jeopardy. All of these factors must be considered as part of the totality of circumstances.

Suicide by cop – guy makes a furtive movement so that the cop or armed citizen will shoot him. The officer’s attorney might argue that this validates Darwin. Presidentender believes this is sad.

Note to badguy: don’t try to scare people who are already so afraid that they’re pointing guns at you.

MAG40 Notes Part 3

5 levels of proof:

  1. Mere suspicion. Belief not founded in authenticable fact. Never act, much less use force, based on mere suspicion.
  2. Articulable suspicion. Means you can explain why you suspected.
  3. Probably cause. More than suspicion, less than certainty. Arrests are allowed based on probable cause in order to gather evidence.
  4. Preponderance of evidance. More than 50% sure. This is the standard applied for the burden of proof in cases of an affirmative defense.
  5. Beyond a reasonable doubt. A reasonable person would have no doubt about this proof.
  6. Beyond all doubt. This is never achieved.

Mere suspicion corresponds to condition white, articulable suspicion to yellow, probable cause to orange, and so on.

The answer to “did you shoot to kill” is always “no.” You shoot to stop the threat. Not to wound, not to kill, but to stop the evil that this man intended to do. Better than he live. Better still that he never bring more harm to others.

“Sorry” has contextual meaning. It may connote guilt if the judge is a dictionary. Don’t say you’re sorry, that you regret or that you feel remorse. It’s more complicated than that. You feel compassion, sadness, but you are not sorry to be alive. You do not regret that you will see your hypothetical grandchildren. You do not feel remorse that your wife is not a widow.

Fear: articulate the fear that prompted the shot. Absent reasonable fear there can be no justifiable use of force. Not terror, which is unreasoning. Reasonable fear. Great fear. Not panic, not terror.

The only time you can be restricted to “yes” or “no” answers is if you are treated as a hostile witness.

“Do you still beat your wife?” “Your honor, I cannot give a straight answer to a trick question, may I explain?”

“Counsel, I am well aware that I am under oath. I am equally aware that you are not.”

“Why did you threaten him?” “Counsel, I performed my duty to warn.”

Duty to warn does exist. Badguy threatens. Good people warn. That’s why it’s “DON’T MOVE” and not “Go ahead, make my day.” Clint Eastwood characters don’t have to answer to courts because they’re movie characters.

In a self-defense shooting you are always the victim. Establish that right away. Call the police immediately before the attacker can do so.

MAG40 Notes Part 2

The justification for homicide is immediate and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm to the innocent. ‘Otherwise unavoidable’ is important, here; if you can run, you run. Castle doctrine or stand your ground laws might legally mitigate this, but it’s Presidentendential policy to maintain standard of care as if Castle Doctrine and SYG do not exist.

Other than Castle Doctrine states, the danger must be immediate, unavoidable, and presented to the innocent. You do not shoot the police in order to protect a felon from being shot by them. You do not shoot the vice cop who’s being arrested and crying ‘rape.’ You don’t shoot the big guy beating up the little guy if the little guy has a knife. You don’t shoot unless you must.

Badguy must have the ability to present the threat, the opportunity to exercise his ability, and put the innocent in jeopardy.

Ability means that badguy has the power to kill or cripple. This power might stem from a weapon, such as a knife or gun; it might stem from vastly superior strength, or from some other factor. The important consideration is disparity of force. Numbers can create such a disparity. A very strong man faced with violence by a gang or a lynch mob cannot rely on the strength of his body.

Men versus women are always assumed to have the ability to cause harm. If Woody Allen attacks Chyna, Allen is probably fucked in court. This also means that a rapist is automatically using disparate force and is therefore susceptible to being stopped by justifiable homicide. Women with guns tend to have the advantage, even against similarly armed men.

If you have become disabled during a confrontation, then the force becomes disparate, even if you were physically peer to your adversary at the outset. This means that if opportunity and jeopardy are present, a shoot might be justified.

If the attacker is known to the victim to be skilled in the use of force, then responding with lethal force to a threat by him is justified. As an aside, it might be best not to run around bragging about your days with the Airborne Ranger SPEALZNAZ.

Opportunity means that badguy cannot reasonably kill you from across the street. If he shouts “I’m going to kill you,” but can’t reach you, then you have a duty to flee. Opportunity applies mostly to contact weapons rather than guns. Badguy can probably shoot that far.

Distance might prevent opportunity. Obstacles might prevent opportunity. ‘Distance’ is for the jury to understand. Always tell the truth. Don’t claim that he could reach you if he couldn’t. Don’t kill just because you think you might be able to get away with it. Killing is to be avoided.

Jeopardy means that the assailant is acting in a manner a reasonable person would conclude is in line with an intent to kill or cripple.

When ability, opportunity and jeopardy exist, then and only then is lethal force justified.

Ayoob covers several self-defense cases. I will not recite them, because his analysis of them is a huge part of the value of the class, and I want you to have to pay for it rather than getting it all for free.

If you carry, do not carry an insufficiently energetic cartridge. Do not carry a .22. Carry a spare magazine.

At this point Ayoob begins to discuss the skills of handgun use. Again, you will have to give Ayoob money to learn what he has to say, although someone might at some point have written some things on /r/guns and maybe you could use the search function possibly to learn about how to shoot a handgun.

Ayoob recommends the affirmative defense: the defendant acknowledges that he shot the deceased, and then proceeds to argue that the shooting was justified. This differs from other options, arguing that someone else shot or that a specific other dude shot or that it went off by itself. Again, pay Ayoob for a complete version.

The priorities of survival must be straight. Just as a Stradivarius doesn’t make you a violinist, expensive gizmoshit doesn’t make you a great hero. Don’t get hung up arguing about 9mm vs .40 vs .45 or Glock vs H&K or what-have-you. None are magic.

Priorities: mental preparedness, tactics, skill with the safety equipment, and only then optimum choice of safety equipment.

The gun is not the weapon. The mind is the weapon. The gun is a tool. A competent man with a .38 is better off than some fool with a .44 Magnum he purchased as a codpiece.

Jeff Cooper was a soldier. Mas Ayoob is a cop. Cooper’s 4 colors are Ayoob’s 5; Ayoob adds condition black back to the mix.

If you agree to be interviewed by the police in the aftermath of a shooting, you should have the interview videotaped by a professional legal steganographic service.

Ego-investment careers, such as attorneys, doctors, and police, make for bad defendants. They can sound especially callous, especially if the interview is reduced to a transcript. The video guarantees that the jury can see facial expressions and hear inflection. And make sure that your attorney is in the interview with you.

Can shoot does not mean must shoot. Many threats will surrender when faced with the gun. Let the threat live if he ceases to present a threat.

MAG40 Notes 1

Ayoob introduces the course by saying that “Most shooting schools offer a major in how to do it, with a minor in when. This is a major in when to shoot, with a minor in how.” That’s a pretty accurate picture of the course content: while there was a range portion, trigger time was not the primary focus of the course. That makes MAG40 or the classroom MAG20 extremely useful to the gun enthusiast who spends more time shooting and less time reading: it gives you a perspective you might not have considered. In my opinion (not Ayoob’s), if guys like Zimmerman took these courses and gave consideration to these factors, we’d see a whole lot less media feeding frenzy over self-defense shootings and probably a more polite society in general.

You must be able to articulate the reason why you did what you did. You must be able to convince a group of 12 strangers, specifically chosen for their lack of sympathy to your perspective that your use of force was justified. You must be authentic, and you must tell the truth. There’s a legal fiction called the ‘Doctrine of the Reasonable Man’: would a reasonable person have acted as you did, given the same background and placed in the same circumstances?

In order to make this as clear as possible, you must be able to pick up danger cues, and you must impress upon the jury your ability to pick up danger cues. It is reasonable to act on danger cues, but only if you notice them.

A given adult male can turn 90 degrees in a quarter of a second, or turn his back completely in about half a second. If he’s quartering on approach (leading strongly with one side of his body) it’s not unreasonable to think that he might be able to turn his back to you faster. You react to anticipated stimulus in about 1/4 of a second; it’s impossible to test, experimentally, how fast a person reacts to unanticipated stimulus. An assailant turning his back is unanticipated. This means that you might not stop firing as he turns. If you have drawn and are firing 4-6 shots per second (which is pretty normal), he may well be inadvertently shot in the back, even if this wasn’t your intention.

Ayoob also covers the OODA loop, which I will not reproduce here. He mentions that his use of profanity is on account of the inherent vulgarity of the topic. We should not ennoble that which is innately ugly.

The ultimate success is deterrence. A shooting death is an indication that one has done wrong. There is no winner in a gun fight. There are only reduced or mitigated losses.

Threat management, therefore, is the meat of the course. The gun is not an evil talisman and the trigger does not pull the finger. The presence of the gun should create more caution, not the swaggering bravado that seems to say “I can do whatever I want and you can’t fuck with me because I’m armed.” One might even think “I cannot punch this man. I am carrying a gun.”

A gun owner must adhere to a higher standard of care. Much as medical training teaches us that we shouldn’t move someone with a possible C-spine injury, and an EMT can therefore be held accountable for injuries resulting from such action when a layman cannot, a cop or a gun owner has no excuse to misuse force. He must be judged according to a stricter set of rules.

Guns are not like the magic rock that keeps tigers away. They are not protective amulets versus evil. They’re like fire extinguishers, safety and rescue equipment. It provides a line of safety for you and yours and stabilizes the situation until trained professionals can get there. A gun owner is like a first responder, with first response training. He’s not like a doctor who’s been to medical school. The first responder hands the situation off to the EMTs or paramedics, who hand it off to the doctors. Gun owners hand the situation off to police and judges.

It is more often appropriate to speak or to physically restrain an aggressor than to draw and fire.

Deadly force or lethal force: that degree of force which a reasonable person would consider capable of causing death or grave bodily harm. A warning shot is lethal force.

Grave bodily harm is a fancy way of saying “crippling injury.”

Do not use lethal force unless you are certain that you are authorized by law to kill the target. The truth is strong, and truth will set you free. Do not lie and pretend that the situation was different as part of your legal defense. If you suck one cock you are a cocksucker. If you tell on lie you are a liar. You are on ice. Walk where the ice is thick.

Justifiable homicide means that it was right to kill. You never ever have a duty to kill.

Excusable homicide is largely archaic. “Probably shouldn’t have killed him, but I can see where someone might make that mistake.”

Manslaughter: no evil intent, but reckless and wanton disregard for human life.

Murder: caused death with malice.

  • 1st degree murder: Premeditated. Coldly planned.
  • 2nd degree murder: “Crime of passion.” Caught Presidentender in bed with Zaptal and killed us both because of how much you love me.
  • Capital murder: kill a LEO or prison guard on duty, assassinate a politician, kill a victim during kidnapping or rape.
  • Felony murder: murder committed during the commission of another felony. If you commit a felony and someone dies as a result, even if you weren’t trying to kill them, it’s still murder.

The power of justifiable homicide must come with commensurate responsibility. It is your responsibility to do right. Do not leave your gun where Adam Lanza can get it.

Anyone who carries a gun in public does so with the anticipation that he may someday have to use it; why else would he carry? He has a responsibility therefore to be well-trained and to prove to someone that his shot will fly true. (Presidentendential aside: seriously, if you’re carrying without so much as a long weekend of professional training, fuck you.)

Scumbags, criminals, wogs, gooks, japs, jerries, evil men and Ted Bundy are human beings. Death of such men is to be avoided if possible. Fuck you if you want to kill.

The standard of care for use of force by a police officer is necessary force to fulfill and acquit his duties. The standard of care for use of force by a citizen is equal force to that presented by the threat. This means that a police officer can dislocate a perp’s shoulder to stop resistance, but a citizen cannot, because the citizen does not have the cop’s obligations. (Aside: shouldn’t that mean that the cop should have a legal obligation to help? I mean it’s been held in the past that they don’t.)



Presidentender’s MAG40 Notes: Introduction

In days of yore, Presidentender did take a course from Massad Ayoob, which was MAG40 and it was good.

And Ayoob did speak to the class, saying “Verily, students, thou shalt write the words I speak, even in your notebooks, and later shalt thou copy the words that thou hast writed, and send them via certified mail to a person you trust, and that certified mail shall serve as a record that you did in fact take this class and if and when you are on trial as part of a self-defense incident the transcript of your notes shall serve as a testament to your state of mind and your competency and shall be useful in convincing judge jury and society that you did the right thing probably.”

And Presidentender did think “Yes, this shall I do,” and then he did not, because he is really lazy but only now it’s like three years later and he found his MAG40 notes so here they are.

I’m not copying the entire content of the MAG40 course. Ayoob has to eat, and the course itself should provide you as much value as possible. I am providing enough of the notes to give you some benefit and serve as a convincing advertisement for MAG40 and all of the Massad Ayoob Group’s course offerings.

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2