Jeff Cooper passed away this week, at the age of 86. Most of those who aren’t into firearms and the shooting sports won’t recognize the name, but to those of us who were, he was an icon.
Negating the image in the popular press of "gun nuts," he was well educated (master’s in history) and an articulate writer. His column on the back page of Guns & Ammo magazine was always a "must read," along with his many books.
For years, I taught officer safety and defensive tactics to recruits at the police academy. I always used the color coded mental states of awareness that the Colonel is credited with originating (Condition White = oblivious to what’s going on around you, caught up in own thoughts; Condition Yellow = Alert and Aware but relaxed; Condition Orange = Heightened awareness, ready to react to potential danger; Condition Red = Fight or Flight mode, when the waste byproducts have hit the oscillating instrument).
He taught a lot of people the art of self defense, and there’s no way to know how many owe their lives to his training, whether in person or through his writing.
It should come as no surprise that he was a U.S. Marine. Like most of the Marines I’ve known, he epitomized everything that made this country great (things that we seem to be losing quickly along the way).
He was always faithful to what he believed in. Semper fi, Colonel. We’re going to miss you, but I’ve no doubt heaven will be a safer place because of your presence.