Katie Kieffer

Entrepreneur Richard Cabela—the late founder of sporting goods empire Cabela’s—did more than create jobs. He protected our natural, God-given right to bear arms.

Cabela passed away last Monday in his home state of Nebraska at the young age of 77. His story is empowering to entrepreneurs, gun owners and Second Amendment supporters.

As tens of thousands of gun owners in the state of Connecticut commit civil disobedience and refuse to register their semi-automatic firearms, Dick Cabela’s legacy reminds us of the importance to never give up and never stop fighting for what we believe in.

Cabela’s first attempt at advertising hand-tied fishing flies was a flop. Instead of giving up, he adjusted his marketing techniques and launched a mail-order sporting goods catalog. Within three short years, he and his family had more business than they could manage from their kitchen table.

Cabela was a passionate hunter and Second Amendment supporter. When he and his wife weren’t managing their business or raising their (nine!) children, they would travel the world together and he would go on big game hunts. Cabela eventually displayed his family’s trophies—including a rhinoceros, an elephant, and a giraffe—at his home in a 15,000-square-foot showroom.

Thus, as his company grew, he expanded beyond fishing lures: firearms and hunting gear became a huge staple of his business. As of 2013, guns and ammunition account for roughly one fifth of Cabela’s sales according to The Wall Street Journal.

As we remember Cabela’s life and legacy, it’s important to honor two of his biggest accomplishments as an entrepreneur: speaking up in defense of the right to bear arms and building a world-wide empire that helped to place firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens.

Decent, law-abiding citizens have the right to defend their persons and property with the most efficient and modern tools of self-defense available; they should not be bullied by self-righteous lawmakers into trading their firearms for sling-shots or swords. It is just and right for all respectable citizens to have access to self-defense technology that is equal to or greater to the self-defense technology that criminals can obtain on the black market.


Katie Kieffer

Katie Kieffer is the author of a new book published by Random House, LET ME BE CLEAR: Barack Obama’s War on Millennials and One Woman’s Case for Hope.” She writes a weekly column for Townhall.com. She also runs KatieKieffer.com.