Every once in a while I go down to my basement library and re-read a book by gun expert Jeff Cooper
) just to keep myself in a self-defense mindset. This week I pulled from the shelf one of Cooper's best works, To Ride, Shoot Straight, And Speak The Truth.
My favorite chapter in the book is one entitled, "The Combat Mind-Set" in which Cooper discusses a person's mental reaction to aggression.
Cooper starts out the chapter stating:
Man fights with his mind. His hands and his weapons are simply extensions of his will, and one of the fallacies of our era is the notion that equipment is the equivalent of force.
Cooper notes that of all of the graduates of his training program
who have found themselves in mortal confrontations, "not one has said that his life was saved by his dexterity nor by his marksmanship, but rather by his 'mind-set.'"
Some useful bits of information that Cooper provides is that one must train himself into a state of mind in which the sudden awareness of peril does not surprise him. "His response should be not "Oh my God, I'm in a fight!" but rather, "I thought this might happen and I know what to do about it
I often think how few people in our society would really know what to do if they were confronted with a mortal confrontation. Sadly, our mindset is now more like The New Feminized Majority
in which soft power and discussions are slowly taking the place of the Combat Mind-set. Is this a good thing?
I don't know, maybe yes, maybe no, depending on the circumstances. I can't help but feel that both are important; yet each year, it seems that the values that Jeff Cooper talked about in his work are less and less relevant in our culture--those values of honor, duty and bravery. Those traits, I hope, will never go out of style--for our very freedom and life may depend on them.
Update: Grim has more thoughts on the combat mind-set.
Labels: gun rights, interesting books, self-defense