Willie Sutton wrote:
Perhaps now Colonel Cooper can guide him back towards the straight path, from which he wandered.
Do you realize what an incredibly insensitive and thoughtless statement you made in your post? One of my best friends in the world dies and leaves three children, and your big concern seems to be the caliber/gun/or shooting stance that a now dead person preferred?
Paul was one of my best friends in this world. We had our disagreements over some firearms related things. But that had zero effect on our friendship, nor did it even enter my mind when I first learned that he had died or when I attended his funeral.
Paul had stayed at my house many times, we'd attended training together and had spent hundreds if not thousands of hours discussing all manner of things over the 10 years that I was privileged to have known him. He was as sincere a person and as true of a friend as I could ask for.
I will miss his company and our long conversations on the phone whenever one of us were on the road.
He was a model firearms trainer, with boundless enthusiasm to teach and increase his encyclopediac knowledge of the subject as well as more avant garde pursuits. He was a strong proponent of encouraging people to seek out a wide variety of professional training and in the forefront of new trends, like advocating woundcare training for the average person. He played a huge role in organizing and promoting conferences, convincing instructors to appear there, and convincing students to attend, and doing lots of work behind the scenes.
When I got one of the first FS2000s in the country, Paul immediately encouraged me to approach SWAT Magazine about doing an article on it since there was no first-hand info on this gun, and I had been into firearms and training for a while and had gotten articles published elsewhere. And that turned out to be my first of many articles that SWAT printed. I had forgotten Paul's role in this until someone mentioned first hearing about Paul in an article that I wrote for SWAT on his AK class.
Paul spent many extra hours of his own time on the range working with students who had issues, without extra charge. He also provided many people with private and semi private lessons for what they could afford if they were in his travel routes. This sometimes meant offering training in exchange for a meal and a place to crash.
He probably spent hundreds of hours a month answering questions from people he barely knew either online or on the phone.
You don't hear much about these students because they typically were not major participants in forums or attended many shooting classes. It was likley someone who approached Paul with aquestion somewhere who he got to talking to and communicating with and said, "let me see what I can do for you . . . "
I remember his ex-wife who is the mother of his 3 children saying that if they were on the road and saw someone pulled off to the side with car problems who looked like it was beyond their ability to handle it, like an elderly person with a flat tire, she knew that Paul would pull over to lend a hand. So she always made sure that they left extra early on any trips.
I feel especially bad for his three children, his family, girlfriend, and the many people in the firearms and tactical community that he rubbed shoulders with. He will be missed by many people.
I hope I'll see him on the other side.