Nation Reconciliation and Reconstruction

Resources for the Concerned Activist


Self Protection

The Truth About Self Protection by Massad Ayoob [External Reviews]

    People often makes "what am I going to do" decisions based on what looks like it ought to work. When faced with an adversary, people's thoughts may go to the most extreme weapons, the most aggressive ways of turning the anticipated attack back on the perpetrator. One might expect something along those lines from Massad Ayoob, who began his professional life by thinking and acting to protect his family's business assets and who has become an authority on guns and how to use them. Instead, he demonstrates that he has a very nuanced sense of what needs to be done to protect people. If someone comes to him for suggestions on the most lethal weapon that all adult members of the family could handle, he will probably tell them that the first thing they need to do, if they are in so much danger, is to get a safe room built into their house. If someone wants to know what kind of attack dog to buy for family protection, he will probably recommend a Great Dane who has not been trained to attack but to defend a perimeter around family members. He will explain that in the event an intruder is bitten the jury that decides the lawsuit against the family will be more favorable toward a stand-in for the cartoon character Marmaduke than to a pit bull or dog of some other breed that has a reputation for viciousness. He has had a great deal of experience with advising people, experience that would, for instance, lead him to quickly learn from the lady who so greatly fears intruders that she has three solid locks on the front door to her apartment, has only one lock on the back door that leads to the loading dock of the apartment building, and that it is the kind of cheap lock that can be opened with the aid of a credit card.

    People who face the need to protect themselves, even in radically different circumstances, should be able to learn a great deal by studying how Massad Ayoob thinks about protection.

    Everything else I have looked at recently is just about guns, as though weapons were the only way to protect oneself, and as though an ordinary citizen could prepare himself or herself against a seasoned killer. Surely we can find better sources of advice.

Zhuang Zi and the Fully Realized Human   Download here.

Managing Major Contingencies

Advise given to young people going, unprepared, to war. Articles by Jon Davis et al.

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This page was last revised 26 November 2016.