Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Holiday crime and recent events in Erie-the recent rise of violent crime-have led me to re-read Jeff Cooper’s Principles of Personal Defense

Posted by M. C. on November 25, 2011

This handy little book should be read by everyone. The cover of my copy has a picture of Mr. Cooper wielding a handgun but the principles apply to martial arts, a big club, sharp fingernails or just a fast pair of feet. Techniques of defense are not discussed to any extent.

Cooper begins by stating his assumption that everyone has a right to self-defense. There are those that do not agree. Timidity and ineptitude accommodate the aggressor.

Violent crime is feasible only if its victims are cowards. A victim that fights back makes the whole business impractical


Know what is behind you. Notice anything unusual. If someone suddenly comes to life when you get up to pay the check or leave a building an alarm should go off. Give corners of buildings a wide berth to see what may be on the other side. Don’t open your door without knowing who or what is there.

Observe your cat. It is difficult to surprise him… He is putting first things first, his physical security.


It is difficult for us to react to a sudden, possibly violent emergency. Counter-attack is not a natural course of action. Become familiar with when to react, what you can do and how far you can go.

He who hesitates is indeed lost. Do not soliloquize. Do not delay. Be decisive.


The criminal does not usually expect in kind aggressiveness. It can be your surprise in return for his surprise.

The best personal defense is an explosive counter-attack.


One of Field Marshall Rommell’s attributes was his ability to counter-attack quickly. He succeeded before the enemy knew what hit him.

Speed is your salvation.


Practice your defensive techniques. One must remain cool and confident with their abilities under stress.

Self-control is one thing the sociopath does not usually possess. Use yours to his undoing.


Your primary concern is yourself and loved ones.

Let your attacker worry about his life. Don’t hold back.


The unexpected throws the bad guy for a loop.

…in every successful defensive against violent attack that I know of…the attacker was totally surprised when his victim did not wilt.

Jeff Cooper’s philosophical discussion, wit and wisdom go far beyond this unworthy summary. It is worth your while to take a trip to the public library (good luck), a friend’s library or Paladin Press.

There are those of a liberal bent that want you to leave your welfare to the state.  The self-sufficient will not break to the saddle of the state as George Will might say.  Just bear in mind when seconds count the police are only minutes away.

2 Responses to “Holiday crime and recent events in Erie-the recent rise of violent crime-have led me to re-read Jeff Cooper’s Principles of Personal Defense”

  1. Ro said

    Good Insights!!

  2. Doug Rowley said

    Yes, good advice. Always be aware of potential weapons at your disposal too, such as a rock or stick.

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