In our political discussions we note certain confusion between the terms “liberty” and “freedom.” The semantic problem here is not insignificant because both liberty and freedom are abstracts for which men are ready to die—some men at least. I think this is one of those cases where we really should understand our terms, but I wonder if our professors of political science are fully prepared to tackle that question.

● I coined the term “hoplophobia” in 1962 in response to a perceived need for a word to describe a mental aberration consisting of an unreasoning terror of gadgetry, specifically, weapons. The most common manifestation of hoplophobia is the idea that instruments possess a will of their own, apart from that of their user. This is not a reasoned position, but when you point this out to a hoplophobe he is not impressed because his is an unreasonable position. To convince a man that he is not making sense is not to change his viewpoint but rather to make an enemy. Thus hoplophobia is a useful word, but as with all words, it should be used correctly.

● The state of Vermont, “land of Green Mountains,” remains the state with the best gun laws in the Union. This is a dreadful fact for the gun grabbers to face. It would be nice if the state of Vermont printed on its license plate “Sweet Land of Liberty” so as to proclaim the triumph of good over evil.

● More on semantics. I have always held that a “blood sport” is one in which the practitioner voluntarily places himself in physical danger, and he does so for fun. You engage in a blood sport for your own recreation, but if you make a mistake you may well die.
Now, especially in England, it seems to be customary to call a blood sport any activity in which blood may be shed, voluntarily or otherwise. According to my view, motor racing, rock climbing, and dangerous game hunting are blood sports. According to the other view, any form of hunting, plus such activities as cockfighting and rodeo are blood sports. (Bullfighting is not a sport, but rather a demonstration, and thus does not fall into either category.) To no one’s surprise, the elected leftist government in England is out to forbid any form of hunting—and possibly fishing—in the U.K.

● We are annoyed at these bleeding hearts who whimper aloud over what they call to be “the sending of American boys overseas to die under the command of foreigners.”

First, the profession of arms is traditionally hazardous to one’s health. When one puts on the uniform he accepts the prospect of his death in action. Ours is a volunteer army and people are not at this time drafted into it. When they join up of their own free will, they know—or certainly should know—that they may be killed in the line of duty.

Second, no one sends soldiers “out to die.” Soldiers are sent out to kill. As Patton put it, “I don’t want you bastards to die for your country. I want you to make those other bastards die for their country.” The critical issue here is that of sovereignty. We would have thought the case of Michael New would have brought this matter to a head, but obviously it did not, and the government is still weaseling on the question. Specialist New was clearly guilty of insubordination when he refused to go fight on a U.N. team. A much larger question, however, is whether he could legally be ordered so to fight. If U.S. troops are placed under the command of foreign nationals, U.S. sovereignty is annulled. This apparently does not matter to the Billary crowd, but it certainly should matter to all Americans who pledge allegiance to the flag and pay their taxes to the government of the U.S. Forget this dying bit. The question is, “Who is in charge here?”

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; and

Up Next

Saginaw County, Michigan gun dealer stays busy as businesses try to stay safe.

In our political discussions we note certain confusion between the terms “liberty” and “freedom.”…