With the passing of John Fasano, the shooting community has lost one of its brightest stars. In addition to his informative and entertaining contributions to several gun magazines, including TACTICAL WEAPONS and GUNS OF THE OLD WEST, John was an accomplished and celebrated part of the Hollywood scene. He has written, produced and acted in several movies. In fact, if you enjoyed Tombstone, Alien3, Another 48 Hours or The Hunchback, you can thank John Fasano. These are just a few of his many credits, and he brought his extraordinary skills to the firearms field with the same enthusiasm and success.

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“Big John” was also something else—my former student and lifelong friend. Our history makes it perhaps appropriate that I was asked to write this tribute, since I first introduced him to the disciplines and rewards of shooting. As his former teacher (from 7th through 12th grades), it was especially satisfying to watch him develop his skills and pursue the world of firearms with the same expertise and success that he enjoyed in all of his pursuits. And, he’s the one who got me writing for several gun magazines. I know he enjoyed that—it was his nature.

John loved providing his friends, including his shooting partners, with activities they’d enjoy. Quite a few times he had arranged for us to meet at a special spot for a day of sharing our sport. African rifle day? Full-auto day? Super big-bore day? We had them all—with coffee and doughnuts!

John’s talents were also in the visual arts. Everyone who knew him enjoyed his sketches, drawings and caricatures, and many were professionally displayed and published. I first noticed this talent when I “discovered” him doing a caricature of me in my 7th grade music class. Rather than scold him (which he expected), I laughed and asked him to draw it on the blackboard. Each day another hilarious sketch of the faculty—doing various goofy activities—would appear. The result? Instant celebrity for our “Johnboy”!

From that moment on, I would continue to marvel at John’s abilities and achievements. He was a one-of-a-kind Renaissance man: a fine musician, a record-holder for the high school shot put and discus (records that still stand), an industrial movie maker, a lecturer, a natural shooter, a visual artist, a Hollywood screenwriter, producer and actor, and a columnist for several firearms magazines.

Later in life, John married his high school sweetheart, and they were joyously planning their future together when we lost him. John Fasano Jr. is survived by his father, John Fasano Sr.; his sisters, Francis and Felicia; his beloved wife, Edie; his son, John Cody; his daughter, Lucia; and numerous friends and fans —including one former music teacher.

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