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Horrible News

I met Bob Owens at an industry event, and usually saw him at the NRA Annual Meeting and exchanged pleasantries. I knew him, but not well. I was an admirer of his work as an amateur blogger, and also when he became a professional gun writer. I had no idea the demons he must have wrestled with. It seems like not many other people did either. Bob always seemed a jovial, outgoing person to me.

This is absolutely tragic, and a great loss to the community. It’s even more so to his family: he leaves behind a wife and two daughters, 10 and 17. I have to be honest, that’s very hard for me to understand and accept. I am fortunate that whatever demons I wrestle with have never driven me to thoughts of suicide. But I know that’s not the same for everyone.

If you’re out there struggling with life to that degree: please seek help. Talk with your friends and family. Even a stranger is better than the alternative. I have a standing order with my family that if for some reason I ever start getting squirrely, they should remove the firearms. There’s no shame in getting help and making arrangements to protect yourself and loved ones.

Someone has set up a Gofundme for his wife and kids. I will be donating. If you were a fan of Bob’s work, I think helping out his family is the least we can do.

17 Responses to “Horrible News”

  1. Ken says:

    Sorry, but someone considering suicide would not leave behind an unfinished book. This was murder.

    • Heather says:

      I think you don’t really understand the hell mental illness puts people through to drive them to the point of suicide. People leave unfinished things behind all the time.

    • JohnnyIShootStuff says:

      Not everything is a conspiracy.

      • Ken says:

        More likely it was the gun control traitors killing him for the fun of it, knowing that the game is fixed in their favor.

    • Publius says:

      David Foster Wallace did.

    • ad-lib says:

      “but someone considering suicide would not leave behind an unfinished book”

      *waits patiently to hear the support for this claim*

  2. Dannytheman says:

    This is horrible news. I think he was my most quoted and forwarded writer. I will miss him and definitely donate to his family.

    We lost a real good one here.

  3. RAH says:

    I heard that he died Not that it was self induced. Very tragic for his family.

  4. Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

    Ugh horrible news. We had some differences on gun rights, but I always though he was a stalwart defender of them.

    Sad he never could defeat his demons.

  5. Andrew says:

    May he be at peace, and whatever demons affected him, mentally or physically, be put to rest. May his family survive and get to a point where they can deal with this loss.

    Suicide is a hard choice. I know, having almost killed myself over multiple stressers. Please, all of you, if you are feeling negative, either physically or mentally, seek help.

  6. Whetherman says:

    “I have a standing order with my family that if for some reason I ever start getting squirrely, they should remove the firearms.”

    First, my deepest sympathy to Bob’s family.

    Per Sebastian’s comment, I have often reflected on how our normal structures of family and friends — when they are there and working — accomplish far more than any legislation can.

    There is a member in our gun owning family who has had serious problems ever since childhood. His father always gave standing orders to us, “make sure X never gets access to any tools,” and when he was around we’d make sure everything was secure, and recreational shooting was put off for another day. And X knew it, and went along with it, because he was aware of his own problems.

    Regarding the comment above about the “unfinished book,” my relative with the problems once said to me “when you are in the depths of depression, next week seems like an impossibility — it doesn’t exist.” I would interpret that to include, that the completion of unfinished projects becomes an even greater impossibility.

    If you “can’t understand how someone possibly could. . .” — that’s exactly the problem.

    • Sebastian says:

      Per Sebastian’s comment, I have often reflected on how our normal structures of family and friends — when they are there and working — accomplish far more than any legislation can.

      A lot, I think. And I’d note that Bloomberg’s efforts have been putting up barriers to the informal arrangements I suggest here. If we lived in Washington, Bitter would technically have no recourse short of spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars to an FFL. My dad would be out of state, and would not be able to take them. In PA, at least there’s an exception for LTC holders and parents.

      • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

        That’s a good point. Someone who is having suicidal thoughts, even just depressed thoughts that people could interpret as being suicidal, face the loss of their guns, maybe permanently, if they seek help. That puts a barrier in front getting help, which is a terrible solution.

  7. OldTexan says:

    I have a good friend here in Texas and years ago he was given medication for his depression. I guess he read the warning label and he was having some strange thoughts so he stopped by my store one day and handed me his snub nose .38 pistol and asked if I would put it in my gun safe until he asked for it back.

    I did not understand all of the family dynamics but his wife was dying of cancer and he had three daughters, one grown and the other two almost and he was in a rough spot. About two years after his wife died and the girls were older and he had one grand child he asked me for his gun back. I asked him if he was in a good place and he said he had a lot to live for and that was over ten years ago.

    We still stay in touch and life has not been easy for him but he now has two grandsons and a lot to live for. I know if I ever find myself in that kind of place I will ask my son and son-law to hold on to my guns until I am in a better place because those demons in the head can be rough.

    My heart goes out to every family that has to deal with a relative taking their own life and as others have said, if you are in a rough patch, reach out and talk and ask for help.

    God bless Bob’s family and my he rest in peace.

  8. Whetherman says:

    “I know if I ever find myself in that kind of place I will ask my son and son-law to hold on to my guns…”

    Though it might not be practical, it might not be a bad idea to have them hold your cars, too. I’m aware there is a theory that many unexplained fatal auto accidents are people deciding to kill themselves while driving down the road, and acting on it in an instant of despair.

    • Alpheus says:

      Indeed. There are a lot of ways people can kill themselves. One of the reasons I despise the fixation anti-gun types have on “gun deaths”, both self-inflicted and generally homicidal, is that they focus on the tool of death, but don’t consider the demons that led to death.

      As much as I despise CeaseFire for their attempts to curtail our gun rights, I really appreciate their program to try to work with local police and community leaders to identify potential participants in violence — both people who might commit violence, and those who might be victims of violence — and try to work with them, to convince them to avoid violent solutions. This hasn’t always panned out (for all sorts of reasons, ranging from funding issues to issues with police trust) but it’s a program I really appreciate.

      I wish there were more efforts like this to prevent both violence and suicide, regardless of the tools involved. It’s something I’d like to think that would have broad appeal, both in the gun/anti-gun community, and in the general community as well.

  9. RAH says:

    Despite the idiotic transfer laws. when a family member gets into a bad way ,generally another will take control of the firearms until the other person gets better. Also happens when a death happens and the firearms are moved out so not to be counted as part of the estate.

    Those transfer laws only stop those who allow themselves to be stopped. Like registration in Connecticut is unenforceable.

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