Massad Ayoob teaches his popular MAG 20 class. Photo courtesy Massad Ayoob's Greatest Handguns of the World, Vol. II.
Massad Ayoob teaches his popular MAG 20 class. Photo courtesy Massad Ayoob’s Greatest Handguns of the World, Vol. II.

Massad Ayoob’s Armed Citizens’ Rules of Engagement class gives those who carry concealed plenty of food for thought.

The topic of concealed carry has been on my mind a lot lately. That’s not only because we just wrapped up our annual Concealed Carry special issue, but also because I just returned from 20 hours of intense instruction at Massad Ayoob’s Armed Citizens’ Rules of Engagement class.

Ayoob has made a lifelong career out of educating professionals and common folk like you and me about every aspect of using firearms for self-defense. While his competitive shooting resume ranks him with the best of the best, Mas is perhaps best known to the general public for his landmark book, “In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection,” published in 1980. He followed that up last year by partnering with us at Gun Digest to publish Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense.

This column appears in the 2015 Concealed Carry issue of Gun Digest the Magazine. Click here to download the full issue.
This column appeared in the 2015 Concealed Carry issue of Gun Digest the Magazine. Click here to download the full issue.

Ayoob’s Armed Citizens’ class is an exhaustive extension of the material in these books, and if I had to summarize their purpose in one word, it would be this: think. All of your hardware knowledge and range time are pointless if you don’t know and appreciate the consequences of using a firearm for self defense.

Mas led off one portion of the class with this: “The mind is the weapon. Everything else is supplemental.” Be honest: Have you spent as much time training your mind for a lethal-force encounter as you have working on your shooting skills? If, God forbid, you need to fire in self defense, are you prepared to deal with the aftermath? I can’t begin to place a monetary value on a weekend learning about things like the true definition of justifiable defense; the actual meaning of Stand Your Ground; when the Castle Doctrine applies; 10 myths of self-defense; the Reasonable Man Doctrine … I could go on, but that would require dumping a 70-page packet of my notes on you.

Instead, seek out the best training and information you can find. Read what you can find from qualified experts and authors (hint: they’re not often found on Internet forums). And if you can find your way into Massad Ayoob’s classes and courses, so much the better (MassadAyoobGroup.com). Like your favorite concealed carry firearm, you may never have to use it. But if you do, you’ll be glad you have it.


deadly-forceAlso Check Out:

Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense

Among the topics discussed, this guide will help you understand any legal and ethical issues concerning the use of lethal force by private citizens. You’ll also learn about the social and psychological issues surrounding the use of lethal force for self-defense or in defense of others. In addition to exploring these issues, Ayoob also discusses the steps a responsible armed citizen can and should take in order to properly prepare for or help mitigate a lethal force situation. Learn more