Armed Citizen’s Rules of Engagement by Massad Ayoob review

Have you ever attended an event and after it was over responded with, “Where did the time go?”  That’s what happened when I attended Massad Ayoob Group’s MAG-20 Classroom, Armed Citzens’ Rules of Engagement.  The two-day, 20-hour class was a combination of live lecture and video lecture (previous training classes).  I was slightly disappointed when he informed us of the video portion, but once he explained why the video was used it made perfect legal sense.  The use of video ensures that everyone who takes his training, no matter the location, receives the exact same training.  That reasoning is especially important if he was requested to render assistance at your self defense hearing.

He explored the necessity of being able to explain your action(s), and why if you can’t, you probably should not do it.  Be able to C.Y.A. and it’s not what you’re thinking.  Can you articulate what was happening at the time of the incident?  Can you authenticate your actions?

Other topics were from your SC-CWP class, times 10.  The topics covered were the same, but he expounded on it with his usual flair as he reached into his knowledge of cases for which he’s testified, ones he didn’t, professionals he knows, and various state case and statutory laws.

Additional topics included: The AOJ Triad (Ability, Opportunity and Jeopardy), Priorities of Survival and Standards of Proof, OODA Loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act), Doctrine of Competing Harms, and many more.

A section I found very interesting was how he demonstrated the link between COL Cooper’s Color Code of Awareness and the Standards of Proof.

Many people think: “two to the body, one to the head” is all you need to end the threat.  Where in the head?    What happens if you hit “here” or “there” on the body?  How will the bullet react?  How does the body react?  These are additional questions that Mas addressed.

The second day included Ramifications of Firearms Modifications and Related Issues (be able to C.Y.A.).  Can the name of your firearm or ammunition become an issue at trial, and can it be overcome by your attorney?

The class progressed into his Proprietary Information, need to take the class to find out what was included.

I realize this is an extremely broad overview of the class, and if you read the class info on MAG’s web site ( you might think: I know the rules of engagement, I’ve seen bullets hit ballistic gel, a lawyer won’t be able to trick me on the stand.  Why do I need to learn how to interact with suspects, witnesses, police officer?  I’ve read his book(s), I was in the military (police officer, lawyer, etc), I have my CWP.  Why should I give him $400 and twenty hours of my time?

Well, guess what?  The room was full of people from various backgrounds who, after the two days were over, were wondering where the time went and could he continue.








Figure 1 Pictured DM Gill (left), Massad Ayoob (right)

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