A Jeff Cooper Retrospective

If you’re a shooter, or a conservative, or both, and…

If you’re a shooter, or a conservative, or both, and you don’t know who Jeff Cooper is, it’s time you did. Jeff was a doctor of weaponry, the inventor of the Modern Technique of the Pistol, and the guru of gun fighting.

“Gunsite Gargantuan Gossip” was originally conceived as an alumni journal for graduates of the American Pistol Institute, now known as Gunsite Academy. These commentaries provide information, entertainment, stimulation, and agitation equally to shooters and the politically aware. They are neither gentle nor notably kind. On the other hand, they are both blunt and amusing.

Jeff Cooper, who passed away in September 2006, was a retired lieutenant colonel of Marines. He founded Gunsite Academy in October 1976, founded IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation), and was a member of the board of directors of the NRA and had many other industry affiliations. His writings continue to be enjoyed throughout the world.

MAY DAY: Volume V, Number 7, 1985
“Fear” is not a good word to use. Fear is a word to lose by. Our wartime President told us that the only thing we had to fear was fear itself, and this is still true. If liberty and light lose the struggle for the world, it will be because we succumbed to the fear of evil rather than to its power.

Individually, we do not bear arms because we are afraid. We bear arms as a declaration of capacity. An armed man can cope, either in the city or in the wilderness, and because he is armed he is not afraid.

This is the root of hoplophobia. The hoplophobe fears and, yes, hates us because we are not afraid. We are overwhelmingly “other” than he, and in a way that emphasizes his affliction. There is not much room for compromise here. We cannot expect reason to carry weight, but we can meet propaganda with propaganda, and our task is easier because our position is demonstrably the right one. And most people are not complete fools.

“There are two places where socialism will work: in Heaven, where it is not needed; and Hell, where they already have it.”—Winston Churchill

APRIL SHOWERS: Volume VI, Number 5, 1986
“And the Lord said, ‘Blessed are the short of cash, for they shall not be led into temptations’. So the Devil invented consumer credit.”

MAY FLOWERS: Volume VI, Number 6, 1986
The media would have us believe that we have won a major victory in Congress by the mild attenuation of Teddy Kennedy’s GCA of ’68. We did win something, but we think to call it a ‘major victory’ is somewhat extravagant. It was interesting to watch the commentators attempt to portray the debate as a face-off between the Police Establishment and the Gun Lobby. Actually, of course, it was nothing of the kind. Only a limited number of law enforcement people are opposed to the Second Amendment, and it seems most of them are on duty in the Northeastern Megalopolis. On the other hand, while the ‘gun lobby’ is, in large measure, an NRA activity, the notion that there is something exclusive about it is absolute hogwash. Tip O’Neill stated on April 9, that the NRA is the most powerful lobby in the country. Well, we are pleased if it is. As a member of the board of directors, we congratulate both the officers who brought the pressure to bear and the membership at large, which responded to the leadership of those officers. However, the thing that bugs the left so much is that this “lobby” cannot be typified. Gross cartoonists such as Benson try to portray what they think of as a typical NRA member, and they fail disastrously, because no member of the NRA is typical. We have bank presidents and busboys, senators and shopkeepers, judges and journalists. We do not constitute a “special interest group,” but rather the public-at-large. Obviously this is infuriating to our opponents.

The NRA is not perfect (anymore than our army is perfect), but it is our NRA (and our army), and it is up to us to make it better rather than to pick nits.

We follow Mark Twain in the view that golf is an activity which consists of “smacking a small gutta percha pellet around a cow pasture with an instrument singularly unsuited to the task.” But the other day we were asked what might be an instrument better suited to the task. In our view, the 60mm mortar, using dummy ammunition. For putting we might use a 9mm double-action autopistol. (We knew there must be a good use for one of those.)

A correspondent has taken us to task for suggesting the .30-30 cartridge for inner-city police work, on the grounds that it has too much penetration. We suggest that if you hit well, you really do not have a problem with over-penetration. It is the misses that cause the trouble. The lesson should be obvious.

It is well to remember that the battle is never ending. We will never win it, but, as long as we keep fighting, neither will we ever lose it.

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