Off Target?

While traveling to a meeting with Colonel House (Harold Wilson's adviser) one day during the Versailles conference following World War I, French prime minister Georges Clemenceau's car was fired upon by a young anarchist named Emile Cottin.

As the car raced off, Cottin fired the last of his seven shots -- one of which hit Clemenceau near the heart. When Cottin was apprehended and the death penalty demanded, however, Clemenceau intervened.

"We have just won the most terrible war in history, yet here is a Frenchman who misses his target six times out of seven," Clemenceau complained. "Of course the fellow must be punished for the careless use of a dangerous weapon..."

His recommendation? Eight years in prison -- "with intensive training in a shooting gallery"!

[In order to open a new pistol range in style, officials in BrighamCity, Utah invited a team of crack marksmen from the Utah Peace Force, one of whom was selected to step forward and break the ceremonial ribbon with a single bullet. When, 500 bullets later, the ribbon remained intact, an officer finally stepped forward with a shotgun and unloaded it at point-blank range.]

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