News: Jeff Cooper's Commentaries

Previously Gunsite Gossip


Comments from the countess:

The JEFF COOPER LEGACY FOUNDATION has provided another scholarship, this one to a deserving military man fighting for our freedom. GySgt Joseph Ban received a certificate of tuition to a defensive pistol class at Gunsite Academy. After completing five days of intensive training (9-12 September) he graduated at the top of his class! Now the Marine sergeant has been deployed overseas, better equipped to handle lethal encounters.

Our FOUNDATION received impressive support when Gunsite Academy announced that the proceeds from entrance fees to all of the side matches at the Gunsite Alumni Shoot (GAS) 11 October would be donated to the Jeff Cooper Legacy Foundation in the form of tuition certificates. Our recognition, appreciation and gratitude go to BUZ MILLS for this charitable gesture. And we give thanks to JANE ANNE Shimizu, Gunsite's marketing director, who is always friendly, helpful and morally and physically supportive.

Also, on that memorable weekend, money was raised for the Foundation by the personal efforts of Renee Brooks, Dave Thompson and Ron Walter - all good KNUCKLEHEADS and all generous of spirit and time and energy. The availability of Pauldenista (clever idea!) T-shirts and posters encouraged donations, and a fun time was had by all attendees of the Friday night barbecue. Now there will be more scholarship recipients and more men and women well trained in defensive pistolcraft - with emphasis on that vital feature of superior training - MINDSET.

PRE-ELECTION QUOTES: In October of 1994, Jeff Cooper in his "Commentaries" repeated a statement made by Dan W. Shoemaker: "One of these days the talking will be over and the citizenry of the United States will decide whether or not to remain free." Another quote from the November issue of "Commentaries" was submitted by the late Mike Taylor who had just returned from Kazakhstan: "We read much these days about the death of the Evil Empire. Don't be misled. Sick, maybe, but not dead. Two former Soviet Army officers told me, 'The Cold War is over only for the United States.'" Jeff commented: "Considering the recent American election, it might appear that the Evil Empire is not dead, but has simply moved its base of operation." More from Jeff towards the end of 1996: "The conclusions seem inescapable that in certain circles a tendency has arisen to fear people who fear government. Government, as the Father of Our Country put it so well, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. People who understand history, especially the history of government, do well to fear it. For a people to express openly their fear of those who are afraid of tyranny is alarming. Fear of the state is in no sense subversive. It is, to the contrary, the healthiest political philosophy for a free people." "The Constitution of the United States was designed for a moral and religious people and is inadequate for the government of any other kind." (John Adams) (August 1982 Gunsite Gossip) The late Harvey Dembe was quoted in the November 1982 Gunsite Gossip: "As I perceive it, it is my obligation to doubt, and to question, and to goad the powers that be. In a democratic society there is no privilege without responsibility, no blessing without obligation, and no liberty without eternal vigilance against those who would abridge it." Jeff said in October of 1989: "There is no political answer to the problem of evil. Evil is a moral problem best handled by religion. If we have no morals and no religion we can do nothing collectively about evil. Individually, of course, we can shoot."

POST-ELECTION NOTES: Since the election of 4 November, without my wise husband to counsel me and tell me what's going on, I have been reading, listening and thinking. I've gone the gamut of depression to optimism, of worry to confidence, telling myself that a country as huge and great and wonderful as the United States of America could not be suddenly, and irretrievably, sliding from a republican democracy to socialism.

See if I have this right. The role of U.S. government in the lives of its citizens has been expanding, slowly and insidiously. FDR introduced the New Deal and Lyndon Johnson the Great Society, both big boosts towards Big Government. In the 1980's, with President Reagan at the helm, the principles of free enterprise, limited government and individual freedom were followed. After two years of President Clinton, in 1994, the American people voted in a Republican-dominated Congress based upon the Contract with America. Sadly, some of these new members of Congress surrendered to the big spending pork-barrel mindset as well as engaging in Washington business as usual - corruption and greed. Most of them were thrown out in '06. In this recent election the Republican party was held to account for, and I quote Tony Blankley, "… two unpopular wars, manifest corruption and managerial incompetence, a collapsed housing market … and a financial crisis that threatens world prosperity …" No one really knows how Obama will govern, but it seems likely that the demands of those who contributed heavily to his campaign will push him far to the Left. We can look for union workers to be denied secret ballots, a return of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" to stifle conservative radio talk show hosts, and the granting of citizenship to currently illegal aliens, among other leftist attempts to expand the Democratic electorate. It is not a scene that bodes well for our country.

HOWEVER, I have been assured by two respected leaders that the motto Jeff had carved into the mantle over our fireplace in the Sconce is a timeless inspiration: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" is what the Old English phrase says in effect. And so Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) writes in the November 10 issue of Human Events: "Can the Republican Party rebuild to gain substantial victories in 2010 and 2012? Yes, absolutely. After the public gets a look at the real Obama and his Socialist plans for sharing the wealth across the globe - and yes, Socialist is the most accurate term to describe Obama's philosophy - Republican alternatives will not only seem respectable, they will be downright attractive … The first step to regain our bearings is to stop talking about where we have been and start thinking about where we want to go. More than the future of the Republican Party depends on our resilience and our ability to chart that new course successfully." And David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, in the same newsweekly says: "Over the course of the next few months, conservatives will be meeting to develop strategies that will lead to a reshaping of the Republican Party, the election of GOP leaders willing to stand up for conservative free market, defense and social positions. This is what happened after previous electoral disasters and it will happen again. … the conservative support network and political infrastructure is much deeper and more sophisticated than in the past. Those who think we lost the war on 4 November should not make the mistake of confusing a battle, no matter how important, with a war. The war for freedom goes on and conservatives are better positioned to win future battles than our enemies believe." Amen.

As Jeff would say, be of good cheer! And fight the good fight!

Janelle Cooper
17 November 2008