The shooting business, like any other business, is involved principally in selling, and we certainly cannot condemn the manufacturers of shooting equipment for pushing the sales of their products. It does seem, however, that too many people who fancy themselves as shooters are more interested in gadgetry than shooting. Nearly all modern firearms will shoot better than the people who handle them, under field circumstances, and nearly all modern cartridges will do what is asked of them if they are properly placed. The principal issue in weaponcraft is marksmanship, not equipment, and yet to read in the specialty press one would gather that all that is necessary for good shooting is the purchase of Product A. A first-rate man with a third-rate gun is far more effective, in every practical sense, than the other way around.

If we had known we were going to live so long, we would have worn earplugs during all those battles.

One of our family members, who happens to be a police chief, reports that he has some difficulty in making sure that his people are always armed. Some claim that it is “inconvenient” to wear a gun off duty. One wonders if such people realize how inconvenient it is for the rest of us not to carry a gun when prowling the streets of a big city. It is extremely inconvenient to leave your pistol behind when you enter a bank, or a supermarket, or board an airplane. It may even be fatal. The polite society, according to the famous dictum of Robert Heinlein, is not one in which nobody is armed, but rather one in which everybody is armed. It is not only polite, it is much more “convenient.”

It may appear unseemly to continue with business as usual when our country is engaged in a major war, but there is little we can do here at home to help our young men who are managing their fantastic weaponry with such consummate skill. The mountains of money that we have spent on R&D over the past few decades finally appear to have been truly well spent. The Tomahawk, for instance, was considered a wasteful extravagance in some circles, and now it turns out to be almost magical in its effectiveness. Much the same can be said of our “smart bombs” and our advanced air-to-air missiles.

May God grant to our people a full measure of luck, to complement their proven skill and daring!

All this raises the point about whether a good trigger in a firearm is important. We have long considered it to be the most important consideration in the “hitability” of any particular weapon, but we find a number of people who seem to be able to shoot just about as well with a bad trigger as with a good one. Our hat is off to such, but their skill does not contradict the principle. We note that very few weapons produced today come out of the box with acceptable triggers, say, 40 ounces kurz und trocken. Does this mean that the majority of shooters can shoot well with bad triggers, or simply that the majority of shooters do not shoot well? Certainly our experience here at the ranch with unenlightened riflemen would suggest the latter proposal. Within the bulk of the law enforcement establishment it would not matter very much anyway, since current doctrine in the public sector appears to be spray and pray.

Far be it from us to advise the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but we think it is no secret that in war the objective must be the enemy’s war-making potential, not real estate. We do not need Kuwait, but we do need to destroy Saddam’s war machine.

The following commentary, attributed to Emo Phillips, was noted by Lisa Heath:

“My grandmother’s brain was dead, but her heart was still beating. It was the first time we ever had a Democrat in the family.”

Here at Gunsite we have considered 400 students as being a normal number for an average year, up until 1990 when the number jumped to 600. Now as of mid-January 1991, we have 369 students already signed up. We want to be helpful, but this sort of thing does pose problems. There are several ways to meet excessive demand, none of which is attractive. We will have to give this matter some serious thought.

If, as is so often advised by our legislative adversaries, the Second Amendment is a collective rather than an individual right, how should that philosophy be applied to the First Amendment. If only groups should be allowed to keep and bear arms, should we assume by extension that only groups should be allowed free speech, or worship, or assembly. That is an interesting point to make in letters to the editor.

One cannot hunt the African bush just once. When you have heard the call of the fish eagle by moonlight, only death will prevent your return.

We keep hearing references to “adult language” in the entertainment media. We do not know exactly what adult language may be, but we have reason to believe that what is meant is “gutter language.” The use of such talk, either in print or in conversation, is blatant evidence of a weak mind and an inadequate vocabulary.

In our youth, the worst thing you could call a playmate was a coward, a “scaredy-cat,” and no matter how apprehensive you might be in your own mind, you were not permitted to show it, by your father, your mother, or your playmates. Fear is quite natural, but in any person of consequence it is suppressed. Flaunting it in front of cameras or for reporters is disgusting, rather comparable to soiling one’s underpants.

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

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The shooting business, like any other business, is involved principally in selling, and we…