Bob Owens, My Friend, May You Rest In Peace

Earlier today I found out that Bob Owens, a friend and my counterpart at BearingArms.com, passed away.

Bob was a good, kind man, who I had a lot of respect for and valued highly. We both started writing about firearms at around the same time. Bob and his Co-Editor, Jenn Jacques, built up BearingArms.com into the forminable firearms/2A news site that it is today.

I know Bob is going to be mourned not only by his family, but by gun enthusiasts all over the country. My thoughts are with Bob’s family, his co-workers and especially Jenn, who made this statement on Twitter a few hours ago:

 

Mental health issues not only affect men disproportionately, but men are far less likely to seek help. If you have problems you cannot deal with, please seek help. It takes a lot of courage, but it is worth it. If you can’t talk to a friend or family member, talk to a doctor, if you can’t talk to a doctor, to a church or synagogue and ask to speak to a pastor/rabbi.

If you have a friend who you suspect is suffering from a mental illness, talk to them. Ask them what is going on and let them know you are willing to listen if they need to talk. It is really hard (I know from experience) and you may well get a negative reaction but you also might be the one person in the world who can help them.

(I am leaving the comments open below for a short period of time. Please only post respectful comments). 



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Will Crippen

    I did not know Mr. Owens, except through Twitter and bearingarms.com.
    He was a fervent supporter of the 2nd amendment, and an eloquent defender of all our rights.

    Beyond that, I found him to be a man possessed of great humor and razor sharp wit. His ability to make a point in 140 characters was second only to his ability to construct detailed analysis on bearingarms.com. I can only imagine what he was like to those who knew him best. He must have been a remarkable friend.

    To Mr. Owens friends and family, I can only offer my most sincere condolences at a time of incomprehensible sadness. You all will be at the very center of my prayers tonight.

    For Mr. Owens himself, I thank you for the smiles and introspection your writings brought me. May God keep you and protect you.

  • USMC03Vet

    Either put up the whole story or don’t even bother. Don’t sugarcoat this. This now negatively affects our fight to keep our civil right.

  • Jeff Smith

    First, I’m sorry for your lose

    Second, thank you for your post. Mental health is something that isn’t takes about much in the gun community, but it should be.

    Third, if you’re reading this and you think you need help, GET IT. There’s no shame asking for help.

  • Godspeed, Mr. Owens. And prayers to Jenn’s getting through this tough time.

  • Bearing Arms is a go-to site for me, and this news is terrible. Awareness and treatment of mental health issues has come a long way, as well as the views on those who come forward with their struggles. It is imperative the firearm community be strong advocates and supporters of mental health providers and those who are in need. Some of our nation’s finest are suffering from PTSD, or other mental health issues, but can receive the help they need while still maintaining their firearm rights.

  • Lyle Caudill

    May God bring comfort and peace to the family, friends, and colleagues at this time of great loss. The 2A press community is truly diminished by Mr. Owens’ passing.

  • Blake

    Was this a suicide? I ask because of the bit at the end about mental health. Always heartbreaking to anyone who knew the person because they always wonder what more they could have done. Terrible.

    • Yes, it is confirmed at this time that Mr. Owens died of a self-inflicted gunshot. A post published on his Facebook page minutes before the emergency services were called to the scene seems to confirm.

  • Renato H M de Oliveira

    Godspeed, Mr Owens. May you RIP.
    As someone who has gone through mental health issues myself, I can attest to both the difficulty of seeking help, and how effective it is.
    I went through a 2-year period of medicine + psychological therapy, then another year of psychological therapy alone, plus the invaluable help of my pastor during this period.
    Today I’m 100%, and without any medications for 4 years now.
    I repeat: yes, it is hard to admit that you aren’t super human, just a human, and that sometimes you can use some help. But even the finest ones need help sometimes.
    If you are not okay, seek help.

  • JDC

    I lost a Marine Sergeant while in command of an NROTC unit. Straight A student, stellar leader, recruiting poster Marine. Wounded 2x in both Iraq and Afhganistan dragging comrades to safety after they were hit. Would have been a superb Marine officer.

    Nobody saw it coming. His demons got him.

    My Marine Gunny said: “Sir, Marines don’t talk about this s*it” I told the Gunny he was wrong, one of the few mistakes I’d seen him make…if you can’t talk about it with your brothers in arms, and you kill yourself, you make your unit less effective, and destroy your family unit…for what? Mistaken pride? Every man or woman I’ve known needed some help at least once in his/her career. Getting mental help is no different than financial, spiritual, physical, or just career advice. Sadly, we’ve convinced ourselves that mental help is somehow “not the warrior way.”

    I wrote a piece for Naval Institute Proceedings. “Mental readiness is Operational readiness.” They didn’t publish it. 22 Vets per day take their own lives and we still don’t want to address it.

    If you need help, get it. If you need help get it. Repeat after me…if you…..

    • Renato H M de Oliveira

      Great post.
      Do you have the submitted (but unpublished) paper? I’d love to read it.

      • JDC

        I’m away from home opening up the in-law’s cabin for them, but I’ll check when I get home. Should be on an old computer.

        Best, JC

        • Renato H M de Oliveira

          Looking forward to it.
          Best regards.

        • Friend

          I’d like it as well, if it isn’t too much effort.

  • CJ Klekar

    I am saddened at the loss of Mr. Owens. I was just getting to know him though his writings. Prayers for his family; RIP Mr. Owens. What thoroughly ripped me were some of the cruel, heartless comments about his death on a horrible liberal news site that I stumbled upon seeking more info about his death. Truly despicable people who don’t know Mr. Owens; truly despicable people with a lot of hate in their hearts. God help them…

  • Z

    Wait? What happened? Maybe you could make it more clear in your article on how he passed away? At first I thought it was natural causes but had to find out from another site that he took his own life.

    And maybe include the suicide hotline number as well?

  • DANNYGLOVERSDICKBLOOD

    “Really sorry that kid committed suicide at Rutgers, but he took his own life. How much sympathy does he deserve for a stupid decision?” – @Bob_owens (10/4/10 10:20 AM)

    How ironic this cuck ultimately went ahead and blew his brains out. Albeit, he did the world a favor. Not sad!

    • Cannoneer No. 4

      Please only post respectful comments).
      Lack of class or lack of intelligence?

  • redsr

    So sad. If you as a gun owner are contemplating self-harm (or another gun owning friend you know), the best thing to do is move your guns to a trusted family member or friend’s safe, or have them change the combo on your safe to something you don’t know (with all weapons locked inside). And then seek the mental health intervention you need. Arm yourself with non-lethal options and upgrade security systems if needed for comfort.

    No different than with kids — the safety/risk consideration of readily accessible firearms changes dramatically when potential for hurting oneself or loved ones exceed the protective intentions having firearms in the home readily accessible in the first place.

    Prayers and condolences to the Owens family during this tragedy.