Jumping the Gun

I remember that nauseating feeling that overtook me in December of 2012 when I learned that 20 innocents and six of their educators had been murdered in a gun free zone in Connecticut.

I also remember how ferociously — and in my opinion, justifiably — the pro-gun world pushed back when folks on the left almost immediately turned the Sandy Hook tragedy into a platform for gun control advocacy.

At best, bad politicking. At worst, bad human-ing.

Yesterday, death once again reared its ugly head on the gun world’s doorstep. Prominent media personality and blogger, Bob Owens, took his own life. I didn’t know Mr. Owens personally, but many of my friends did. I only knew him as the owner, editor, and primary contributor of BearingArms.com, a very popular (albeit occasionally provocative) pro-gun website. It hadn’t been on my daily reading list of late; but BearingArms.com was gospel to many, the posts were often cited by other outlets and respected names in the gun world, and Mr. Owens was apparently working on a new book. I can’t even begin to imagine how powerful those demons must have been to supplant all that apparent success. I wouldn’t wish that kind of pain on my worst enemies, much less their families and loved ones.

It’s hardly been 24 hours since this tragedy struck, and already, the internet is buzzing with pontification about the moral and religious implications of “self murder.”

Is suicide wrong? Selfish? Sinful? Condemnable? Maybe. Maybe not. All worthwhile questions. But when political vultures sought to fatten up their causes by feeding on the luke-warm flesh of murdered kindergartners, the Second Amendment community called them out for pouncing way too soon. I didn’t know him any better than I knew the Sandy Hook victims, but I hope Mr. Owens’ family will be afforded the same courtesy. Let’s at least get him in the ground before we turn his death into a political or religious debate, let alone cast him off to Purgatory.

Be gentle, friends. Consider the cost of those Facebook likes and teeming comment tallies. It’s not always about you.

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