Those of us who write about guns generally stay on top of what others in the field are doing, and appreciate the best in that field. Of late, we’ve lost three of those best. I was deeply saddened this year by the death of Dan Shideler. He was my editor on my most recent book, Massad Ayoob’s Greatest Handguns. He was a joy to work with and I had been looking forward to working with him on the next couple. It was not to be; a heart ailment took him from us at a tragically young age. Dan had an encyclopedic knowledge of firearms, particularly some of the most arcane and fascinating designs, and was a font of knowledge for his colleagues as well as his readers.
We recently lost Steve Camp of Texas, one of the nation’s leading experts on the Browning Hi-Power pistol. Working the electronic side of firearms journalism rather than the print side, his website had been an authoritative resource on guns and ammunition. I had corresponded with him and was looking forward to meeting him in person when next in the Lone Star State, but it was not to be. Described as a gentleman by all who knew him, Steve had recently retired from a career as a role-model police officer, and was not yet 60 when he suffered a fatal stroke.
This past weekend, they were joined by Charlie Cutshaw. Charlie and I wrote for many of the same magazines, and it was always a pleasure to chat with him. A Vietnam veteran and a proud law enforcement officer, he was one of the most knowledgeable sources of information on small arms, particularly those designed for military and police use. A fall at home, resulting in brain trauma, took him from us. A Google search will get you to samples of their work, if you aren’t familiar with it already. All of them worked hard to inculcate safe, responsible use of firearms. All of them “left the range” far too soon. May their legacy continue, may their loved ones be consoled, and may they rest in peace.