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Pioneers, Geniuses And Leeches

Oh, my!

I was reviewing some old posts for inspiration, and a pioneer’s name leapt from the page.  We all are familiar with John Browning, Jeff Cooper and company, but I also remember others, perhaps less lauded…

Mel Tappan

Mel was an early (1970’s) survivalist, who wrote of prepping and related matters.  He, Jeff Cooper and others wrote of such things, when most folks were remembering their family’s bomb shelters of 10 years earlier, and pooh-poohing such concepts.

…He then wrote a monthly column on survival topics titled “Survival Notes” for Guns & Ammo magazine. Shortly before his death, he also wrote a few monthly columns as the Survival Editor for Soldier of Fortune magazine. Through these publications and his 1977 book Survival Gunswhich as of 2010 is still in print after more than 32 years – he became an influential spokesman of the “armed-defense” wing of the Survivalist movement. The back cover of Survival Guns quotes Laura Cunningham of The New York Times as describing Tappan as “The Survivalist voice of reason.” (Wikipedia)

He passed way-too-young at age 47 of heart failure.

Other pioneers and geniuses came to mind.

Jim Cirillo

Jim Cirillo was a noted firearms trainer and former member of the NYPD’s elite Stakeout Unit (often called the “Stakeout Squad”). He died on July 12, 2007 as a result of an automobile accident versus a semi tractor-trailer.

In his five years on the Stakeout Unit, from 1968-1973, he was involved in seventeen gunfights.

In more recent years, he was involved in firearms training for police and civilians, publishing books and videos on the subject through Paladin Press, and teaching classes at a number of private schools.

Cirillo also worked on bullet design, creating bullet noses designed to “dig into” a target rather than deflecting from them.  (Wikibin)

I’m fond of quoting him when the subject of handgun bullet stopping power is raised.  Jim said, “Stopping power begins at 12 gauge.”  With is real-life experience, I’m inclined to believe him.

Bruce Nelson

Bruce was a retired law enforcement officer, one of the top holster makers and leather craftsmen in the country. A renowned firearms and police officer survival instructor, Bruce was one of the founders of the International Practical Shooting Confederation and a well-know author, gun rights activist and community leader. (Tucsoncitizen.com)

Bruce had been a California narcotic’s officer who tired of the cheap leather crap being foisted upon him to use to carry his .45 automatic.  He solved the problem by designing (and later selling) a holster of his own design christened the Summer Special.  Later, he sold the design to Milt Sparks, who has been sellingsummer-special variants of the original design ever since.  Many holster manufacturers have copied it.

Bruce was married to firearms-activist (and later NRA president) Sandra (Sandy) Froman, a pioneer in her own right.

Bruce, too, passed at age 47.

When I originally was forming the idea for this post, I was going to also include people of the leech variety – the names of Karl Marx (who never worked a job a day in his life, and sponged off co-author Friedrich Engels) and Bernie Sanders (whose first paying job was at age 40 – helping folks apply for public assistance) came to mind.

Then, I decided against it.

Doing so would sully the name of such individual rights pioneers

Hell, it’s MY blog…

(FTC – Mel, Jim and Bruce imparted wisdom to me.  No money exchanged hands – except from me for holsters and magazines.  Karl and Bernie?  Not so much…)

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About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Pioneers, Geniuses And Leeches

  1. Good men, and yes many good men seem to die young.

    Posted by OldNFO | April 23, 2016, 7:01 pm
  2. I confess to have hung on every word Mel Tappan wrote back in the ’70’s, and then – many years later, having been painfully disillusioned. He was a good writer and was knowledgeable about guns, but as a survivalist he was a bit of a fraud.

    The writer I wish I’d spent more effort archiving was Skeeter Skelton, whose experiences were apparently far more genuine and whose writing style was entertaining and sometimes downright hilarious.

    Posted by Joel | April 24, 2016, 7:42 am

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"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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