Written by: Greg Ellifritz
I recently completed Massad Ayoob‘s new book Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense. I enjoyed the book and think it would be a valuable addition to any shooter’s library. Massad is well known to most shooters and one of the most prolific gun writers in the industry. In addition to his writing, Mr. Ayoob has worked as an expert witness for decades, explaining complex use of force situations to juries in cases where a victim has been unjustly prosecuted in a self defense situation. There’s probably no one on Earth who has more experience in the legal aspects of a self defense shooting.
Deadly Force is 237 pages long and starts out with chapters about what standards must be met to successfully make a self defense claim. the author then goes into great detail about the issues of Ability, Opportunity, and Jeopardy. Towards the end of the book he covers Castle Doctrine, armed self defense myths, and performs a detailed first hand analysis of two recent self defense shootings that were prominent in the media. One of those cases is the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman shooting. Ayoob’s analysis explains many of the critical lessons learned from each case.
The book covers many of the same concepts covered in Andrew Branca’s The Law of Self Defense, but Ayoob tackles them in a slightly different manner. Branca’s book was an excellent description of the legal requirements of self defense in every state. It is clearly the better reference of the two books. Instead of reading like a legal reference, Ayoob tells stories about cases with which he has been involved to effectively engage the reader and explain the topic. Readers of both books will be far better informed that the average gun owner with regard to legal issues, but Ayoob’s book is likely a little more approachable for most readers. While I truly enjoyed Branca’s book, I would first give a reluctant spouse or relative Ayoob’s book as a primer and then only if they displayed great interest, would I give them The Law of Self Defense.
If you are interested in self protection, you need to understand the legal restrictions placed on your ability to defend yourself. The book Deadly Force provides that information. It belongs on your bookshelf.
You can purchase the book at your local book store or at Amazon.com.