Massad Ayoob Group MAG-40 Course Review: Part 2 The Classroom

*Secondary Disclaimer* There’s a lot of proprietary information covered in this class that’s not to be shared with the general public. That’s why one of the requirements of attendance is either a criminal background check or current Carry License. Due to that, there may be some gaps or ambiguity in the overall review. Trust me when I say that the 2 days of classroom are reason enough to attend the course. The range portion is there so that, should he need to, Mas can testify to your proficiency with a firearm, not just that you had the academic knowledge about use of force.

Day 3: The introduction covered the information that would be discussed, how we should handle that information, and certain steps we should take to document our knowledge moving forward. We covered some of the basics, like what is entailed in Jury Selection, some basic legal concepts like what circumstances justify use of deadly force, different levels of homicide (murder, manslaughter, justifiable, etc), as well as a more in-depth look at Cooper’s color code. We also discussed different standards of proof, and the different legal applications of each. We went over the fact that a claim of self defense constituted an “affirmative defense”, and what that entails.

Day 4: The day did start out with some discussion on equipment. There are prudent things that a defensive gun carrier should consider before purchasing/augmenting their firearm. We reviewed things like trigger mods, safeties, etc. We also reviewed studies in human reaction time, including the Tueller drill. There was some review of common “Defensive Myths”. You know, the dumb shit you hear tossed around at gun stores, gun shows, and on different internet forums. Throughout the course, there were a lot of helpful tips on how to prep your life for certain events.

One of the biggest segments was focused in the different physical/emotional reactions after the shooting. We talked about the psychological and societal impacts. The idea behind this is to ensure the students are aware of what to expect. That way a) they are less scared by the unknown of what to expect and b) are able to critically think and develop their support plans ahead of time. There was some discussion of attorney selection, as well as the potential value of being a member to a program like US Law Shield/ Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network/ etc.

We also discussed the how and why of ammunition selection. Not so much from the ballistic performance, but also how it can potentially play into your defense. They eschewed the mixing of ammunition. The discussion segued into combative anatomy, and the 3 major target areas, and which is appropriate under what circumstances. There was also a discussion on rendering aide, and under what circumstances it would be (im)prudent. As previously mentioned, there was a lot of proprietary information, that was to be expressly contained within the scope of the class, and only shared with those directly vetted by the alumni. What I can comfortably say is that this section was built around how to avoid getting shot by other good guys, how to communicate with all parties involved, and how to keep from turning a righteous shooting into an inadvertent homicide charge. The irony is that the most valuable segment of the course is the one I have to write the least about. There were lots of legal cases provided throughout as case studies of the different principles covered.

I've never carried a gun professionally. I'm just a yuppie suburbanite that happens to live an armed lifestyle. Having worked in the corporate arena for the last decade, I've discovered that a lot of the "requirements" and norms of gun carriers at large aren't necessarily compatible with that professional environment. I also have a pretty diverse social background, having grown up in the Northeast, and there are many people in my life that are either gun-agnostic or uncomfortable with the idea of private gun ownership. This has afforded me not only insights into how we are perceived by different subcultures, but how to manage and interact with people that may not share your point of view without coming across as combative or antisocial. This is why my focus is the overlooked social aspects of the armed lifestyle.