Jeff Cooper's Commentaries

Previously Gunsite Gossip
Vol. 2, No. 3           1 March 1994

Ides of March

I am often criticized for not "sticking to my guns" and veering off into politics, sociology and history. That criticism may be valid, but the more I see of it the more I become convinced that history and conflict are synonymous. This seems to be inherent in the nature of man. According to Clausewitz, war is politics carried out by other means, and war, of course, is conducted with weapons, hence weaponry remains fascinating and completely a part of the human story. Whenever I read fiction I reflect that fiction writers are rarely properly grounded in weaponry, and this causes much of their fiction to fall flat. Certain notable exceptions were Rider Haggard, Stewart White and Ernest Hemingway. They may not have got their weaponry sorted out correctly every time, but at least they tried, and that is more than you can say about most current tellers of tales.

A couple of gun writers, who should know better, have taken it upon themselves to denigrate the Clifton bipod on the ground that it is fragile. It is true that one should not attempt to jack up a truck with the Clifton bipod, but properly trained rifleman will not do such a thing. Normally the Clifton bipod is retracted, and on those occasions when it is used, the shooter has time to treat it carefully. When you need a bipod you do not need it in a hurry, so treat it properly and all will be well.

We have received a couple of positive reports about the Chinese 1911 clone known as "Norinco." Quality control in a slave society can be anything the commissars decide, and, of course, slave labor is a lot cheaper. If you have a Norinco that works well, be satisfied.

As we proceed for our planning for the Babamkulu adventure in May, we note a small but troublesome tendency for wives to be negative about Africa. It is certainly true that Africa is an adventure, and adventures always involve risk. Who, however, can enjoy life without risk? As we have often written, danger, not variety, is a spice of life. Personally I do not see any more danger in an African hunting trip than I do in daily life in an American big city - probably a good deal less, but in any case we can only feel sorry for the timid soul who, as the saying goes, "dies a thousand times, while a brave man dies but once."

The problem is that only enthusiasts shoot well. Not many public employees are enthusiasts. This lowers both standards and potential, and gamesmanship is no help.

Indian Country, 1994

Goblin shows up late at hamburger dispensary behaving obnoxiously. Management calls the cops. Cop shows up and challenges goblin, who begins shooting at him. Cop sustains several hits before returning fire and goes down with a broken femur. Goblin runs dry and, bleeding from three wounds, commences to reload. Two Navajos are trying to get their car started on the parking lot. Analyzing the situation, they move in on the goblin and pound him into the pavement, leaving him for dead. They then go back to the car and continue fiddling with it. All manner of cop cars show up, complete with flashing lights. County deputy attorney, who arrives with the cops, approaches the two Navajos and asks if they can use any help. The answer is, "Well, yes. You got a flashlight?" Cops furnish flashlight.

Moral: Always carry a flashlight in Indian country.

Colonel Bob Young, USMC, Retired, is no longer employed by the new owner of the Gunsite Training Center. We understand that "He was too much of a Colonel."

According to a news item in the AIM Report, Major Robert Hines, of the DC Park Police, maintains that Vincent Foster, who was found dead in the park, was in possession of a "38-caliber 1911 Colt army revolver." Now there is a collector's item for you!

The newspaper accounts coming out of the Waco trials are quite unbelievable at this distance. It would appear that the attorneys for the FBI are talking about some other occurrence entirely. They are quoted as telling the jury that "These people (the Branch Davidians) wanted to destroy your country!" Somehow I never got that impression. What I would like to find out, however, is what sort of wounds caused the death of the three BATmen who entered the upper story first. Those men were buried before anyone got a good answer to that question, and evidently it was not raised at the trial. It matters, however, if the BATmen shot each other, as seems likely. That might well be verified by the nature of their wounds.

In a follow-up on the Waco atrocity, someone suggested to Bob Crovatto, our man in the murder capital, that the Branch Davidians could be characterized as "just a bunch of religious nuts with guns." Bob's response was, "Just like the people who founded this country. Right?"

Family member and Orange Gunsite stalwart Barrett Tillman attended Janet Reno's appearance in Phoenix last month and noted the following commentaries:
Reno: "I come from a community where I was born and raised."

Napolitano: "With both my hands I want to jump into this program with both feet."

A youth commenting upon the way to prevent gang violence: "Teach them education."
Well, we elected them!

In an article appearing in the "Oregonian," a cop spokesman claimed that law enforcement people should be worried about the Voere caseless cartridge since it throws no cases around, and thus makes tracing of the weapon in a homicide more difficult. Let us take up a collection to provide people who make statements like this with a thousand dollars for evidence of the first murder committed with a caseless cartridge.

Did you notice the attempt by the media to characterize Tonya Harding as low-brow because she hunts deer? I suppose there are plenty of people in the megalopolis who truly consider deer hunting to be a low-brow pastime. This is yet another testimony to the fact that many of our people - especially our city slickers - have completely lost whatever sense of historical continuity they may have had.

Anyone who takes the trouble to investigate the matter will find out that in a cultural sense big game hunting has always been considered a high-brow activity. Hunting, rather than horse racing, is in truth "The Sport of Kings." We cannot, of course, expect the media to understand that.

Having been called to task on the point, I must correct an impression I put out previously to the effect that the air bags in an automobile can be deployed by a swift kick to the front bumper. Apparently it takes more than that. I am told by people in the business that a blow sufficient to deploy the air bags in a Mercedes Benz will render the car undriveable. (This might not be true of all makes and models. We hear of a demonstration in England where a car thief deployed the air bags from the outside, which invalidated the automatic locking system, thus permitting him access to the interior.)

To the best of my knowledge and belief, Lon Horiuchi, the man who shot Vickie Weaver in the face with a sniper rifle while she was holding her baby in her arms, is still walking around loose. If I am wrong in this assumption, please let me know.

There is a good side to everything, it appears. The recent series of cold snaps in Washington pretty well shut down the operation of the government for several days at a time.

A lady of our acquaintance, who lives alone, has asked us what sort of instrument is best for house defense in her case. To me the answer is easy: The "Lupara," a double-barreled 12-gauge shotgun with exposed hammers and short barrels. I understand the term Lupara is Sicilian and means approximately "wolf killer." Such a piece is enormously authoritative, it is easy to use, it requires minimal training in its management, and it may be left loaded and uncocked indefinitely on the closet shelf. The only precaution is to seal the muzzles with scotch tape or cotton wool to avoid the building of nests in the barrels by little varmints.

Such items are available from Rossi and Baikal, though you may have to hunt around for them at gun shows. Usually they are very reasonable in price.

I never suggest any sort of pistol for a householder who is not prepared to take up the study of the pistol. Pistolcraft is a somewhat advanced art, not to be acquired in one easy lesson. See what has happened when the US law enforcement establishment made the great shift from revolver to auto-pistol! I suppose that I was as instrumental as anyone in organizing and promoting that transference. I did so under the assumption - which I think is sound - that the self-loading pistol is simply a more efficient sidearm than a revolver. I have now discovered, as the years go by, that the self-loader seems to be just a touch too complex for our current generation of cops. Why a soldier can be taught the satisfactory use of an auto-pistol and a cop cannot is a mystery I do not pretend to understand, but I spent a long time in the military with the single-action auto-pistol without trouble. Suddenly, however, it appears to be dangerous to the user. This is a subject well worth looking into, but I have not yet seen it properly covered in the shooting press.

The renowned historian Christopher Dawson viewed the disintegration of Western culture as a far worse disaster than that of the fall of Rome; for the one was material; whereas the other is a spiritual disaster striking directly at the moral foundations of our society and destroying not just the outward form of civilization but the soul of man, which is the beginning and end of all human culture.

Via Christina Scott in "A Historian and His World"

Brent Clifton has a usable supply of the flush sling-mountings which constitute a minor but essential part of the Scout concept. It appears that the original maker of this device gave up in favor of the more conventional rectangular QD attachment, on the ground that the flush mounts were too expensive. One would not think that a minor additional expense would be a factor in the production of an artifact designed to last several lifetimes.

I keep getting queries in the mail about the nature of the Scout concept. I have prepared a fairly detailed presentation on this subject, which is scheduled for publication in the July issue of Guns & Ammo magazine. Please stand by.

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Is that clear? It certainly would seem so. It is not a statement which requires any sort of "interpretation." It says that if the Constitution does not say the Feds can do it, the Feds cannot do it. This Amendment has never been repealed, and yet it has been disregarded since the reign of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It means that a great deal of federal legislation and regulation is flatly illegal - contrary to the supreme law of the land. The founding fathers made it quite clear that when the government promulgates an illegal law, that law is null and void. Some say that whether or not a law is legal is a matter for the courts to decide, but I do not see that there is anything to decide in the case of the Brady Bill, which is nowhere allowed in the Constitution. We have a sheriff in Arizona who says he is simply not going to observe the Brady Bill, and God bless him! A suit has now been filed declaring the Brady Bill to be void - as a violation of the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution. Let us see how the courts handle this. We simply cannot permit them to go on confusing the issue indefinitely.

Note the following exhilarating item from the news in Sao Paulo, which we extracted from Vuurwapen Nuus.
"An armed gunman who tried to hold up tourists at gunpoint was beaten to death by his intended victims. It was the third lynching of a mugger in one week in Brazil."
Now self-defense is not lynching, but the news is nevertheless very cheerful. Unfortunately the news item did not tell us the nationality of those three tourists. We can only guess.

In Cincinnati they have re-created one of the most disgusting elements of the Cromwellian dictatorship in England. This is a "squealer's circuit" by means of which citizens are encouraged to report the presence of firearms in the hands of their friends and neighbors - most particularly "semi-automatic firearms." I can see all of these little punks running around trying to get the exact mark and mod of a particular handgun which they see across the back fence, so they can run and tell the cops. There are so many sickening aspects of this picture that one hardly knows where to begin.

"An unarmed citizenry is a top priority on the liberal agenda. The Brady Bill is just the first step."

Walter Williams, in Conservative Chronicle

"The board reached a conclusion that the only safeguard at close encounters is a well-directed rapid fire from nothing less than a 45-caliber weapon."

Thompson LeGarde Study, Department of the Army Ordnance Board

Did you note how the railroad from Oslo to Lillehammer was being continually obstructed during the games by wildlife? The beast concerned is Alces alces, known in Norway as elg, in Germany as elch, and in America as moose. The species is circumpolar, but shows variations from place to place. These beasties are fond of standing on the railroad tracks in preference to plowing through deep snow, and this is true in Norway as well as in Alaska. A moose is a difficult beast to convince, and we hope the Norsemen did not waste much meat, since when we were there last the prime venison sold for about ten dollars a pound.

I recently was honored to be the guest speaker at the first dinner of the Lazarus Long Discussion Society (LLDS) based in Ogden, Utah. The group plans to meet at prearranged intervals to consider matters of political philosophy relating to the personal weaponry of the armed citizen. Graduates of Orange Gunsite constitute a core of the initial membership, but anyone interested in participation should contact:
Dennis Tueller, 1737 E Woodglen Rd, Sandy, UT 84092.

There is no need for gender classification in shooting competition. Consider Annie Oakiey, and the song "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better!" Now that the Air Force has qualified a girl fighter pilot, it does seem silly to separate the ladies in a shooting match.

No, Janet, the Waco case is not closed. We have passed judgement upon the defenders, but it now remains to bring their attackers to justice.

"What Clinton and his kind want to develop is a population which sees itself as a victim of violent crime, economic injustice, racial and sexual prejudice, and helpless to correct these wrongs without government assistance. People who see themselves as victims look to rescuers, look to those who will help, for a victim is one who is demonstrably incapable of doing things for himself. He wouldn't be a victim otherwise. And under no circumstances must a victim take action on his own to remedy the evil he suffers from. Never. He should call the government to help."

via Howard McCord in "The Coming Civil War in America"

I have just been notified of what I consider to be a very high compliment. It seems that a group of medical men in San Francisco, who call themselves "Physicians for a Violence-Free Society," have picked me out personally as one of the chief contributors to the terrible state of the nation. I did not believe that I carried that much clout up in the Bay Region. Pretty soon I will be right up there with Rush Limbaugh.

Please Note. These "Commentaries" are for personal use only. Not for publication.