A Jeff Cooper Retrospective

Family member and long-time Orange Gunsite staffer, Dr. Lloyd Pond…

Family member and long-time Orange Gunsite staffer, Dr. Lloyd Pond of New Mexico, has sometimes pointed out that the advantages of the Weaver Stance over the Isosceles are attributable to basic anatomical geometry. Now we get further corroboration from Dr. Edward P. Jastram, III of Montana:

“It turns out that the reflexive facilitation/inhibition patterns of gait involve the muscles of the shoulder girdle and upper extremities as well as those of the lower, and that the precision with which one may use his muscles specific for stability, trigger and recoil control is position dependent.”

I am not sure I fully understand that, but I have seen the Weaver Stance prevail and have taught it ever since its invention by Jack Weaver and its analysis by John Plähn so many years ago. Now it appears that the notion can be said to be “medically approved.”

● In this degenerate period in the life of the republic, I most strongly urge all responsible people to find a copy of the Constitution of the United States and to read the Tenth Amendment thereto with great care. I have not yet heard it proposed that legislators and executives who are ignorant of the supreme law of the land may be charged with “political malpractice,” but it is high time that someone brought this up.

● Years ago we coined the appellation, “Preoccupation with Inconsequential Increments,” or PII. This peculiarity lies in attributing importance to measurable deviations so small as to be meaningless. You see it in the people who shoot test groups in rifles, awarding a prize to a group which is only thousandths of an inch smaller than those unrewarded. One sees it in speed records awarded in one-thousandths of one mile-per-hour. One sees it in basketball scores which, nearing the century mark, are separated by less than three points. In all such cases Score A is “better” than Score B, but who cares?

An increment may be termed inconsequential when it has no significant relationship to the purpose of the exercise. Of course if the purpose of the exercise is in itself inconsequential some may not think this to be foolish. A very distinguished general at Quantico once caused the sign to be placed over the exit door of every office asking, in brilliant scarlet and gold, “What are you trying to do?” There was a man who knew more about human nature than most.

● The Republic is in very bad shape—probably the worst since 1776—but it does us all well to remember that the principles of the Founding Fathers stand as sound and irrefutable today as yesterday. We must bear in mind that “they” cannot disarm us. They do not have the legal power, of course, but neither do they have the physical power. An army may be defeated by another army, but the people of a nation cannot be, as long as they are aware of their principles and maintain their determination to observe them. We hope, of course, that “they” never presume to try, because “they” simply cannot do it. What the American people need is the viscera to tell “them” No! God grant that we still have the courage!

● “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do children of humans as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” —Helen Keller

● We recently ran across an interesting new word, Schlimmbesserung. It describes the process of making something worse by “improving” it. That is a good word to have at the ready these days, since it covers the subject without the necessity of a long-winded explanation.

● The run on arms and ammunition has caused shortages here and there throughout the country. In my opinion this phenomenon is a direct result of the passage of the Brady Bill. As everybody knows, that bill will do nothing about anything, but it does indicate that the hoplophobes now feel that they are free to go ahead with other and more ruinous action. I have long preached that one should never be caught short in his personal armament, either in regard to the weapons or the ammunition. Keep up your supply, and do not neglect the rimfire, which may well turn into the “ballistic wampum” I have spoken of in the past. If you have any loading equipment, stock primers, which may constitute the weakest link in the chain.

● “The entire modern deification of survival, per se, survival returning to its self, survival naked and abstract with the denial of any subsequent excellence in what survives except the capacity for more survival still, is surely the strangest intellectual stopping place ever proposed by one man to another.” —William James

● I have been annoyed enough to mention it before, but I wish people would stop using the word “professional” as a synonym for “expert.” Anyone who does anything for money is a professional at whatever it is he is doing. That certainly does not mean that he is doing it well. You have only to look around you. An expert, on the other hand, is doing it well. Whether he gets paid for it or not is coincidental.

NOTE: The intellectual property of Jeff Cooper is owned by Gunsite Academy and reprinted from Gargantuan Gossip 2 with their permission. Jeff Cooper’s books are available from the ProShop at Gunsite (928-636-4565; www.gunsite.com) and www.jeffcooperbooks.com

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