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Old School Musings; Jeff Cooper, Politicians and Getting Up Off the Couch

We are winding down the job here at Calvert. Waiting on this or that as the final touches are applied. The last two days have been off days for me and I have been taking care of some maintenance issues on the Old Girl in the coolness of the early mornings. After sweltering in the heat for the past many weeks, I am taking advantage of the AC during the hottest part of the day – catching up on reading and emails and maybe even a late afternoon nap thrown in. A sure sign of me having too much time on my hands is when I get to worrying and thinking about the current state of affairs.

I have been a dyed in the wool Republican for my entire adult life. That is until about 2 years ago. Honestly, all politicians seem to be cut from the same cloth. They serve the needs of the special interest groups that provide the millions needed to get them elected. Little else. If it was up to me, election campaigns would be limited to the 90 days preceding the elections and campaign spending would be curtailed severely.

When I sink into this kind of funk, I go back to the writings of Jeff Cooper. Colonel Cooper was a writer, an intellectual,a  warrior and a teacher.   One of the things that galls me these days is the propensity to apologize when we decide to speak our mind.  Most people are more worried about being PC ( politically correct/politely correct) in this day and age than they are about speaking their mind.  Colonel Cooper was Old School and never hesitated to speak his mind.  To wit–

It is interesting to hear certain kinds of people insist that the citizen cannot fight the government. This would have been news to the men of Lexington and Concord, as well as the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan. The citizen most certainly can fight the government, and usually wins when he tries. Organized national armies are useful primarily for fighting against other organized national armies. When they try to fight against the people, they find themselves at a very serious disadvantage. If you will just look around at the state of the world today, you will see that the guerillero has the upper hand. Irregulars usually defeat regulars, providing they have the will. Such fighting is horrible to contemplate, but will continue to dominate brute strength.

One cannot legislate the maniacs off the street… these maniacs can only be shut down by an armed citizenry. Indeed bad things can happen in nations where the citizenry is armed, but not as bad as those which seem to be threatening our disarmed citizenry in this country at this time.

Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.

A free man must not be told how to think, either by the government or by social activists. He may certainly be shown the right way, but he must not accept being forced into it.

The media insist that crime is the major concern of the American public today. In this connection they generally push the point that a disarmed society would be a crime-free society. They will not accept the truth that if you take all the guns off the street you still will have a crime problem, whereas if you take the criminals off the street you cannot have a gun problem.
That is why our masters in Washington are so anxious to disarm us. They are not afraid of criminals. They are afraid of a populace which cannot be subdued by tyrants

And the last gem:

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 of us 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.

I sent a box of goodies to my daughter in Italy a few months ago, T shirts that I was no longer cool enough to wear since I was now AARP qualified and some books. One of the books was Colonel Cooper’s To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth which I told her to read and make sure her husband read as well.  My kids are going to know the Old School way and be able tell when the Kool Aid comes out.  I feel the weight on my shoulders in that respect.

One of Colonel Cooper’s projects involved a project with Colt Firearms, Cooper says

The Colt 1911 pistol remains the service pistol of choice in the eyes of those who understand the problem. Back when we audited the FBI academy in 1947, I was told that I ought not to use my pistol in their training program because it was not fair. Maybe the first thing one should demand of his sidearm is that it be unfair.

Colt Gunsite Brochure

Colt Gunsite Brochure

Cooper and Colt came up with the Colt Gunsite 45 Automatic.  I have always had a few firearms around the place.  Back in the day,  I had a few revolvers and rifles; never a fanatic collector or anything like that.   During my black days at the turn of the new century, all the guns were sold to pay bills.  2 45 autos went away.  I have since resolved to never sell another gun that I bought for personal use.  It is just too painful.   Colt’s Custom Shop made the Gunsite model for just a couple of years, if that, starting in 2003.  It never caught on.  The market for Custom 45s was/is centered around the high priced customs from Baer and Wilson and others.  Tricked out works of art that will run several thousand dollars.  Cooper’s idea for the Colt 45 was for it to be simple and functional – always and unequivocally.  It looked little different from a regular production Colt Government model unless you have an eye for the subtle nuances.  That is what doomed it.  Pull it out at the gun range and no one was going to ooh and ahhh!  over its’ appearance.  It did not have poser appeal like the expensive custom models. C’est la vie.

Being as how this was a Colt limited production model and being as how the few  people that bought them were discerning and wanted this pistol, not many appear for sale.  It took

My Colt Gunsite 45 Automatic

My Colt Gunsite 45 Automatic

me two years to locate the one I wanted. We were working a job near Brenham in the Fall of 2008 when one showed up for sale on one of the local gun forums and I snatched it up for a reasonable price. I was not disappointed in my purchase.

After reading the previous 1100 or so words in this post, I hope you don’t believe I am one of those para-military, end of the world holocaust, survivalist screw ups. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I am trying to be an informed realist. Government should not legislate the way we live our lives. and the way things are going now scares me more than a little. People think the government should take care of them when they are down and out or a disaster strikes. They lay on the couch and wait for the Bailout from the Beltway. Christ, what happened to people getting out and making something happen in their lives? The authors of our Constitution never saw socialism as part of that document. The State is not supposed to provide everything we require. Sure looks like that is what is happening though, with the bail outs and the new healthcare bill and a score of other things that shows the Government is insidiously positioning itself to control most facets of daily life in America.

Hah! I have been sitting here for 15 minutes trying to figure out how to close this entry. You know what I almost did? I almost said ” Well this has been one of my soapbox rants and I hope you did not take offense.” Wow, the Kool Aid IS strong. I was going to apologize for speaking from the heart! F that. It is what it is.

End Note: Carry On By Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young from Teach Your Children. Sometimes I yearn for simpler times.

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4 comments to Old School Musings; Jeff Cooper, Politicians and Getting Up Off the Couch

  • Bob

    I would give most anything to know that a majority of Americans understand this discussion and agree with you.

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  • Ron

    Well I agree that many people need a wake up call on this. Hand outs are a bad idea. If you are healthy and don’t work to make this country a better place than you shouldnt get anything. Hunger is a great motivator. Hell if it were up to me I’d make people go out in fields and harvest crops to get a welfare check. That would stop the illegals from flowing in right there. Its too easy to get fired up the way things are going now…

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  • Pete

    Nice blog Andy. I wasn’t aware of Jeff Cooper and have added some of his references to my reading list. I’m an RVer as well although a “sissy” compared to what you do (these days getting out on nice weather days seems to be a challenge). Keep up the great writing and excellent perspective on life and country!

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    • Andy

      Thanks for the compliment Pete. I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

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