Bill Cooper, American Patriot


Gary Hunt,

Outpost of Freedom

November 11, 2001


Bill Cooper was a patriot. Bill Cooper was, also, human. It is the human aspect of Bill Cooper that cost him his life.


Let me begin by stating that many patriots, as they became embroiled in their respective battles with the government, realized that it was necessary to understand that the government would use any means available to bring them down. If they could use federal law, they would; if they could use the IRS, they would; if they could use state law, they would; if they could use local law, they would; and, if they could find a way to discredit someone, they would. The government has acknowledged this tactic since 1972.


Understanding that survival as a patriot – and the continuation of exerting energy against the government required that you be free, and able to do what you do best, it is easy to understand that any habits or practices that you have should be considered as potential tools for the government to attack you.


As a consequence of this reality, I have given up smoking (marijuana) and drinking, with the exception of an occasional social drink with close friends. Each, you see, provides the government a wedge into your life, if they are able to.


Bill had some habits that, well, helped lead to his demise.


The events of November 6, 2001, were preceded by others – which lead to the tragedy that resulted from a simple arrest. That simple arrest was the consequence of some rather foolish actions by Bill Cooper.


It seems that, not too long before, Bill had left his property to chase Dr. Scott Hamblin off of some property that was not even owned by Bill. After Hamblin left, Bill decided to reinforce his assertion to Hamblin that he should not come around Cooper, so Bill went to Hamblin’s house, still brandishing a gun. The result of this rather childish action was the issuance of a warrant for Cooper’s arrest.


Late on the evening of November 5, the Apache County Sheriff’s Department sent a number of officers to make the arrest. The Sheriff’s Department, just like many other people, was fully aware of Cooper’s claims that he would never be taken alive. In an effort to avoid a shoot-out, a plan was devised to take advantage of Cooper’s propensity to protect his property (and the property around his property). Two deputies were sent, in plain clothes and an unmarked car, to a location in front of Bill’s property. They turned their radio up loud and acted as if they were drinking teenagers.


The ploy worked and Bill left his property, in his car, to send the wild young teenagers away. When efforts were made to arrest Bill, he drove his car back toward his house. Another car, marked, attempted to block his path (or, an alternate version has Bill pushing one deputy off of his car and then shooting the other). Cooper drove around the car and parked at his house. He got out and went to enter the house. Two deputies attempted to stop him. He shot one and the other shot him. Cooper died as a result of his wounds.


Regardless of how we look at the methods used by the Sheriff’s Department, the events were a result of Bill’s assertive, arrogant attitude. Through years of antagonizing people, Cooper managed to avoid complications – until last week. But, there is little doubt that any of us would want any less from the Sheriff’s Department if we were the object of Cooper’s aggression. We would insist that he be arrested for coming to our home brandishing a gun, or we would have dealt with it, ourselves. Either circumstance would, likely, end in Cooper’s death.


Cooper will be remembered by the patriot community. There can be little doubt that he helped to move tens of thousands of people into a new awareness. Perhaps the last lesson that Bill gave us will be the most important, for many:


Don’t let lesser actions result in giving the government a cause to act against you. If you choose to fight the battle, remember that it is, often, better to be around to fight another day.