When I got my copy of the book last week (thank you Gail), I saw that it was not a very big book (237 pages) and thought “well, couple of days of easy reading and then my thoughts.” Not the first book I reviewed, hopefully not the last and I always enjoy Mas’ writings.
I finished the book last night. It took me six days.
It took me six days because every time I finished a chapter, I was forced to re-evaluate my knowledge and my preparations for the hopefully never-coming case of having to use deadly force to save a life (mine’s family, etc.) It was great to find that I was doing some things right, others could do with a little tweak and (shamefully) some needed to be dumped because I was totally off the narrow path.
This book is not about how to shoot better or more accurate or faster. You have to do that on your own with a good instructor and practice. This book is how not to be a defendant or if you cannot avoid it, how to survive it. Life is unfair, people lie (specially those who tried to wish you harm,) police is naturally suspicious and won’t believe you initially, evidence & witnesses will move or disappear, you may face a district attorney with a bone to pick, media will hate you: Are you ready to counter all that?
So far, my biggest “head-slap” has been “knowing what you knew at the time.” I don’t think I ever gave it a proper thought till this book and I am just realizing how lacking I am in that department. Welcome to prior documentation. Remember, it is not what you think, but what you can prove in court. Keep records of everything that you think it may even remotely help you avoid jail.
The book is also full of court cases, all of them teaching moments. It also has all of Massad’s blog posts covering the Zimmerman trial in one convenient location. This is perhaps the best part of the book: to read what went right and what went catastrophic in a trial makes for very incisive learning points.
I can keep writing about the book, but I would be wasting your and my time. Just go buy it now. Available in Amazon in Dead Tree and Kindle. For those into Barnes and Noble, they also have it in paper and electrons.
And do me a favor, when you are done reading the book come back and share with the other readers what you got out of the book.
3 thoughts on “Book Review: Deadly Force. Understanding Your Right to Self Defense by Massad Ayoob.”
I was sent the book under my subscription to the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network and am reading it now. My thoughts will be here (and at Backwoods Engineer) when I finish it.
Your post prompted me to take this book out of my wishlist and actually order it, Miguel. Thanks for the reminder.
Will read ASAP.
Its a companion to In the Gravest Extreme 1980 which is still the definitive work on armed self defense and a steady seller 30+ years later. This one has case studies and strategies for understanding and defending your right to self defense and, like all of Mas’ works is a towering success.
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