1 Feb 21
“Remember my son that the Irish fight well, but Russian artillery’s hotter than hell!”
Irish folk song, dating from the Crimean War, 1853-1856
“Fighting Spirit”
Luigi Cadorna, Italian Army Chief of Staff, lamented in 1916 during the 8th Battle of the Isonzo River (WWI) that his dauntless troopers made scant progress when charging Austrian machineguns over open ground. He kept saying (wistfully) that the only impediment to victory was a “lack of fighting spirit.”
This foolishly naive notion was not uncommon during the Era, and is not uncommon today!
As US Grant said in 1864,
“I’ve known many who claim to yearn for a fight, when the enemy is far away. Precious few continue to so yearn when the enemy gets close!”
Yes, an unshakeable belief in the righteousness of The Cause is important, as is good equipment.
But what so many of us, including many naive (and new) American gun-owners, fail to appreciate is the importance, indeed the criticality, of personal competence and competent individual training.
Jeff Cooper said it so well (as was his knack):
“You are no more “armed,” because you own a gun, than you are a “musician,” because you own a guitar”
When the gun that you own is to have any likelihood of truly fulfilling the role you have in mind for it, you have to get trained!
And, just as every car-owner probably doesn’t need to become a race-driver, not every gun-owner needs to be exposed to SWAT training!
Yet, every car-owner does need to know how to operate his vehicle on public highways with a reasonable degree of safety and competence.
It follows that every gun-owner needs to know (at the minimum) how to operate, keep, maintain, maybe carry, and deploy his gun with a reasonable degree of care and effectiveness.
This is the critical message we need to get to the millions of brand-new American gun-owners, many of whom are surely destined to otherwise become victims of their own ignorance.
Personal righteousness and “Faith in The Cause,” even when combined with good equipment and a “fighting spirit”, will by themselves not likely prevail against a determined and even slightly competent VCA!
Being “right” does not insure victory!
Being competent doesn’t either, but it stacks the odds in your favor!
“Fools seek happiness in the distance. The wise grow it under their feet.”
James Oppenheim