After running across a great LTC Jeff Cooper quote on the topic of violence over at GFZ, to wit…
One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that ‘violence begets violence.’ I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure – and in some cases I have – that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.
Fight back! Whenever you are offered violence, fight back! The aggressor does not fear the law, so he must be taught to fear you. Whatever the risk, and at whatever the cost, fight back!
The only acceptable response to the threat of lethal violence is immediate and savage counterattack. If you resist, you just may get killed. If you don’t resist you almost certainly will get killed. It is a tough choice, but there is only one right answer.
Any man who is a man may not, in honor, submit to threats or violence. But many men who are not cowards are simply unprepared for the fact of human savagery.
Weapons compound man’s power to achieve; they amplify the capabilities of both the good man and the bad, and to exactly the same degree, having no will of their own. Thus we must regard them as servants, not masters – and good servants to good men. Without them, man is diminished, and his opportunities to fulfill his destiny are lessened. An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.
If you find yourself under lethal attack don’t be kind. Be harsh. Be tough. Be ruthless.
The police cannot protect the citizen at this stage of our development, and they cannot even protect themselves in many cases. It is up to the private citizen to protect himself and his family, and this is not only acceptable, but mandatory.
If you don’t understand weapons you don’t understand fighting. If you don’t understand fighting you don’t understand war. If you don’t understand war you don’t understand history. And if you don’t understand history you might as well live with your head in a sack.
The will to survive is not as important as the will to prevail…the answer to criminal aggression is retaliation.
According to Herodotus, the ancient Persians felt that what was necessary in the background of a young man entering adulthood was his ability to ride, shoot straight, and speak the truth. Perhaps we should now grant our college degrees to young men who measure up to that standard.
Dead accurate. For anybody here who might be unfamiliar with Col Cooper—which I can neither comprehend nor forgive—he was nothing less than a bona fide American icon, a giant among men whose passing in 2006 diminished us all. Some biographical info:
John Dean “Jeff” Cooper (May 10, 1920 – September 25, 2006) was a United States Marine, the creator of the “modern technique” of handgun shooting, and an expert on the use and history of small arms.
Cooper was born in Los Angeles where he enrolled in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Los Angeles High School. He graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He received a regular commission in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) in September 1941. During World War II he served in the Pacific theatre with the Marine Detachment aboard USS Pennsylvania. By the end of the war he had been promoted to major. He resigned his commission in 1949, but returned to active duty during the Korean War, where he claimed to be involved in irregular warfare, and was promoted to lieutenant colonel. After the Korean War, the Marine Corps declined his application to remain on active duty. In the mid-1960s, he received a master’s degree in history from the University of California, Riverside. From the late 1950s through the early 1970s, he was a part-time high school and community college history teacher.
In 1976, Cooper founded the American Pistol Institute (API) in Paulden, Arizona (later the Gunsite Academy). Cooper began teaching shotgun and rifle classes to both law enforcement and military personnel, as well as civilians, and did on-site training for individuals and groups from around the world. He sold the firm in 1992, but continued living on the Paulden ranch. He was known for his advocacy of large caliber handguns, especially the Colt 1911 and the .45 ACP cartridge.
Exemplars like Jeff Cooper are never in abundant supply at any time, in any place. In present-day America we have not only lost all capacity to birth and nurture them, but to appreciate their inestimable worth. Actually, it’s even worse than that: many if not most of us seem to actively hold such men in contempt, to perceive them not as representations of national glory but as shameful throwbacks, people whose excision is the only hope for real progress.