This study is built directly upon a close reading of the published writings of the nation’s top-ranked experts in the use of firearms for self-defense, and in the nature and consequence of deadly force encounters. The following are the principal experts whose work is quoted, although a number of other experts and authorities are cited where appropriate.
Massad Ayoob. Like many firearm experts, Ayoob has made a business of promoting guns for self-defense, both as a pro-gun writer and instructor. A former police officer, he has appeared in court as an expert witness on the use of lethal force in self-defense. He is the founder and director of the Lethal Force Institute in Concord, New Hampshire, a school specializing in the defensive use of firearms. Ayoob also offers training courses through interlocking arrangements with schools founded by other gun experts, such as Chuck Taylor’s American Small Arms Academy (see below). A prolific author, Ayoob writes a regular column for the premier gun industry magazine, Shooting Industry, and his work often appears in gun enthusiast magazines. He has written numerous books including In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection (Massad F. and Dorothy A. Ayoob, 1980), cited in this study, and produced training videos, such as the Physio-Psychological Aspects of Violent Encounters (Police Bookshelf, undated videocassette), also cited herein.
Chris Bird. A native of England now residing in Texas, Bird is a journalist. A longtime handgun shooter, he is a certified concealed handgun instructor and is the first vice president of the Texas Concealed Handgun Instructors Association. Bird’s book, The Concealed Handgun Manual: How to Choose, Carry, and Shoot a Gun in Self Defense (San Antonio: Privateer Publications, 1998), cited herein, won praise from expert Massad Ayoob as having “the third dimension of depth,”and was called “Outstanding!” by Texas State Senator Jerry Patterson, author of the state’s concealed handgun carry law.
Jim Cirillo. Now retired, Cirillo was firearms instructor for, and an active member of, the New York City Police Department’s stakeout squad. In that capacity, he was personally engaged in 17 armed confrontations with criminals, resulting in 11 fatalities. He has since served as chief firearms instructor for the U.S. Customs Service and as a senior firearms instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. He teaches occasionally at various schools around the country. He is the author of Guns, Bullets, and Gunfights: Lessons and Tales from a Modern-Day Gunfighter (Boulder, Colo: Paladin Press, 1996), cited herein, and the subject of a training video titled Secrets of a Master Gunfighter: Jim Cirillo’s Advanced Guide to Combat Shooting and Gunfight Survival.
Bill Clede. A retired Connecticut police officer, Clede is an instructor and the administrator of the Smith & Wesson Online Police Academy, through which he teaches the course “Concealed Handgun Carry for Police.” Among his numerous articles and publications is the work cited herein, The Practical Pistol Manual: How to Use a Handgun for Self Defense (Ottawa, Ill: Jameson Books, Inc., 1997).
Gabriel Suarez. Cuban-born Suarez is a veteran of several southern California police agencies, including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Now a full-time professional weapons and tactics instructor, writer, and consultant, he is the author of several books in addition to The Tactical Advantage: A Definitive Study of Personal Small-Arms Tactics (Boulder, Colo: Paladin Press, 1998), cited herein.
Chuck Taylor. A decorated veteran of Vietnam combat service qualified in SWAT and counter-terrorist operations, Taylor is the founder and director of the American Small Arms Academy, a private firearms training school. He has trained law enforcement and security personnel, including covert military and police special operations units. Taylor is a prolific author who writes for several publications. In addition to The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery, 4th ed. (Iola, Wis.: Krause Publications, 1997), cited herein, Taylor has authored several books and more than 1,300 magazine articles.
Duane Thomas. A professional free-lance writer on gun-related topics, Thomas is the author of a number of magazine articles, in addition to The Truth About Handguns: Exploding the Myths, Hype, and Misinformation (Boulder, Colo: Paladin Press, 1997), cited herein.
Dr. Alexis Artwohl and Loren W. Christensen. The authors of Deadly Force Encounters: What Cops Need to Know to Mentally and Physically Prepare for and Survive a Gunfight (Boulder, Colo.: Paladin Press 1997), have nearly 40 years of combined experience working with law enforcement officers. Artwohl is a clinical psychologist in Portland, Oregon, who has worked with many police officers and family members after such traumatic events as deadly force encounters. Christensen, a career Portland police officer, has written a number of articles and books on the martial arts and police-related topics.