Christmas is a time to celebrate what we have…and also to be thankful for what we once had, including friends and loved ones who have passed.
This last September, we lost Chuck Karwan. He was a tireless fighter for gun owners’ civil rights, and one of the world’s leading small arms authorities, with genuine expertise that encompassed everything from knives to machine guns.
His career as an Army officer proceeded almost directly from West Point to Vietnam, where he saw much up close and personal combat and earned the Bronze Star. Chuck saw a lot of men killed by gunfire, some of them through his own gunsights, and forever after was a voice of reality in controversial discussions on such matters where some based their opinions more on theories born in laboratories than in truths observed in battle.
Chuck was the author of the second and third editions of The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery, out of print now but well worth searching for second-hand on e-bay or Amazon or at your local used book store. His essay on “stopping power” in the third edition was worth the price of the book by itself.
Fortunately, Chuck was not only an excellent writer but a prolific one. A search at www.findarticles.com should turn up rich, informative troves of his work. He has left a great legacy there for all of us, and for those who follow.
Chuck Karwan had been suffering cardiac problems for some time before the massive heart attack that took him on September 8, 2008. As a result, he was unable to obtain a satisfactory amount of insurance for those he left behind. Chuck was first and foremost a family man, and wouldn’t have wanted it that way. Donations can be made to Chuck Karwan Memorial Fund, Umpqua Bank, 100 W. Central, Sutherlin, OR 97482. A memorial website may be found at www.chuckkarwan.com.
In a world of posers and phonies, Chuck Karwan was the real deal: a gentle family man who loved children, yet a fierce warrior, and a masterful leader and trainer of warriors. We were fortunate to have had him among us to learn from. At Christmas, such role model Americans are among the blessings we should be giving thanks for.