Thursday, September 06, 2007

Book Review: In the Gravest Extreme

I've heard that Ayoob's In the Gravest Extreme is an excellent book, although the firearms chapters are extremely dated.

A few of the chapters may be somewhat useful to people who don't frequent gun forums, but overall I'm extremely disappointed. Cheaply printed, and the black and white photos are amateur snapshots with an obvious on-camera flash-I'm a lousy photographer, I would have done a much better job.

The meat starts in chapter 2, "Self Defense and lethal force". Basically, you can't shoot someone unless you are under imminent threat of death or severe injury, a bit on disparity of force. Says you can't be the one to start a fight, then claim self-defense if it gets out of hand. 22 pages, the longest chapter in the book.

Chapter 3: The dangerous myth of Citizen's arrest. 6 pages, about what you'd guess from the title.

Ch. 4: Samaratans with guns: 2 pages: Legality depends on the state, be darn sure you know who is who.

Ch. 5: Women and guns: Women can't handle more than a .380 or a .38, a .22 might be the best choice. "If you do work up to a .38, lean way forward into the recoil, unless you're a big girl"

Ch. 6: How and when to use firearms in your store: Rehash of when it is appropriate, then some obsolete hardware information, and a bit of useful advice on where to keep a gun, and .45's and .357's require extensive training to deal with the recoil. Again, .38's and .380's are the best choice.

Ch 7: In your home, probably the best chapter overall. How to move tactically (doesn't call it that) in your own home. The picture "proper way to check for prowlers" shows the model with his finger on the trigger--Rather than re-taking the photo, he just complains about it in the subtitle.

Ch 8: Gun in the street: Throw money at them, shoot as a last resort.

Ch 9: Gun in your car--Don't pick up hitchhikers, don't leave your gun in the car.

Ch 10: Deterrent effects: Guns often scare criminals away without being fired. Comes with 2 personal encounter stories where he drew on people, from before he was a cop.

Ch 11: Common sense on carrying: You should have training. Don't let your gun be spotted.

Ch. 12: High price of machismo: Try not to shoot anyone, even if you are justified you'll be sorry.

Ch. 13: Picking a gun: .38 revolver. Others are too powerful, .357 and .45 are for experts only. No mention of shooting .38's in a .357

Ch 14: Ammo: .38 or .45. 9mm is only used for the features of the guns chambered in it.

Ch 15: Technique: Use a belt holster at 3:30, shoot COM.

Ch 16: Safety: 4 rules, don't get into aruments or drink while armed, keep guns away from unsupervised kids.

Ch 17: Aftermath: Get a lawyer, don't talk to the press. 4 pages.

Total, 130 pages.

I suppose back in the day this book was good information not easily available elsewhere, but none of it is new to anyone who spends even a little time on gun-related internet sites. I honestly don't understand why it gets the recommendations it does.

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