I have been considering picking up and reading a copy of The Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry by Massad Ayoob. I have never been a major fan or major detractor of Massad Ayoob and have never read one of his books in is entirety, though I have read magazine articles and excerpts from books by him. I have thought of him mostly as a part time time book writer, a part time firearms instructor, part time expert witness, and part time police officer. I am not saying there is anything wrong with what he does or his methods, then again I am not saying they are all right. As to the methods he teaches some probably are excellent some probably run of the mill and others probably controversial. I just never fell in as one of his many acolytes much the same as I am not a disciple of Col. Jeff Cooper.
I have gotten most of my training from instructors on my job or through other LE agencies and the NRA, from other civilian instructors, from hunter safety instructors, from trainers of unarmed defensive tactics, from other shooters, from hunters, or even at summer camp may, many, many moons ago. Much of what I have learned were the products of shootists, the names some of whom you may know and some others probably not, like Corbett, Sykes, Fairbairn, Applegate, Jordan, Weaver, Capstick, Cirillo, Hampton and Milla - some of it taught to me in person, some second hand, some from books. I also have learned a lot about shooting out of the innovation of street officers and even some good part of it from summer-camp counselors (and rifle instructors) such as Brother Louis Richard (RIP). Sure, some of the things I have learned were thought up by Ayoob or Cooper, others were thought up long before either was born and others after they were born but independent of them. Regardless of who thinks it up or who distributes it to us, I can always utilize useful information about safe sport and safe tactical shooting. I have a lot of room in the data base among my little gray cells and yes that could include information supplied by Ayoob. So, yes, I may get this book since it has been recommended by someone I trust.
That said though, I feel almost obliged to make comment on book’s cover photograph. In doing so, I am not judging the book by its cover as much as I am judging the author, or at least the person responsible for using that picture. I am guessing Mr. Ayoob may have had some say in the cover photo. If he actually did have some say then, allow me to comment, I am not really as amazed as most folks probably should be - that if only because I am the penultimate cynic and skeptic. Think about this: How is it, except to sell books with a cool looking front cover, that anyone who knew about firearms and firearms safety, would depict a photo of what appears to be a cross draw from a shoulder holster or jacket holster and the person drawing the weapon is seemingly covering his off hand or arm with the muzzle? I think that is maybe not the best picture to have on the front cover but that is just my opinion. That pic is just one example of a reason I do not usually just buy into everything these guys say. It is also an example of why I do not drop down on my knees and bow to praise them and all their methods. I am just way too skeptical to buy into their methods as being the best, or the ultimate, or as infallible, or as the next best set of rules since the 10 Commandments, when I see them presenting their stuff accompanied by things like that photo when I think it is being used for cool factor to sell a book. There is a reason that cross draw holsters are forbidden at most ranges and during most LEO qualifications and training and it is not just that during the draw you often cover yourself. Whomever wanted to put out a book on concealed carry should also have known it and then should have used, in my opinion, another picture.
As I said above though, regardless of the front cover pic, I may have to pick up that book, at least if I can find it at a considerable discount at Borders (and I had best wait until they get down around 40% off since B&N has it at 36% off right now). I have heard it is supposed to be a decent book with good content and that it is an enjoyable read. Who knows, I may just read something that may save my life. As long as I do not shoot myself on the draw in a gunfight - when I quite possibly may not remember to keep my finger off the trigger while drawing due to nerves, or anxiety caused by overwhelmed things like bullets whizzing by my head, a bad guy shouting he is gunna kill me, the shit coming my way out of the fan, and the pucker factor failing me - I may turn out the winner.
All the best,
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