Please consider contributing to the Bob Owens Family & College Fund
Like many people, I first "met" Bob Owens through the Internet when he was running his own blog about firearms and other musings. His work was regularly forwarded to my email inbox and it quickly became clear that not only was his work good, he had many fans. From what I could tell, he was a nice guy.
A few years back, Townhall Media was looking for an expert to take over a newly launched Second Amendment site. I was asked to help find the right person. After weeks of searching, it became obvious Bob Owens was the guy for the job.
"Surely there is an organization that can use my skill set," I noticed Bob tweeted (maybe not an exact quote, but close).
Indeed, there was. He was hired to run BearingArms.com and steered the site into what it is today. Bob came to the D.C. area office to introduce himself to the team and was even nicer in person than I previously perceived. Maybe it was the deep southern accent. When the site expanded, he brought on Jenn Jacques to help with the workload.
But the thing is, I didn't just work with Bob. He wasn't simply a colleague who I spent time with here and there. He was my friend.
In the winter of 2014, our mutual buddy Trent Marsh invited us both on a whitetail dear hunt in Maryland. Bob was one of Trent's most cherished and closest friends. Our guide for the trip, Rob Freyer, knew where the deer were. Our cameraman Chris Hermans knew how to catch all of the action.
Bob drove up from North Carolina, I drove in from D.C. We spent the next four days getting up way too early, hunting deer next to the Potomac River and coming back to a local hotel in the evening. We told stories late into the night over beer and pizza in the lobby. I made everyone peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for our days in the field so we could avoid going into a local food joint. Dressed in full camo, we'd inevitably come out smelling like grease. And yes, there were plenty of "woman make me a sandwich" jokes. I happily obliged.
When my shotgun came out of battery, jamming my gun when I took a shot at my first buck, Bob helped me fix it. He took me to a field during a break to make sure I could work it properly. We all left on the final day of the hunt exhausted with coolers full of venison. It was so much fun.
The following year, I spent an entire week at Gunsite Academy with Bob in a defensive pistol course. He was testing out a new handgun for the week that he planned to review, but ended up ditching it after too many malfunctions. I was always jealous he eventually made it to more classes there than I did, but he would always check in to see if I had plans to get back.
"Are you taking the counter terrorism course in March?" he texted last year. I was covering the GOP primary at the time and couldn't make it.
I remember the phone call from Bob when he said the LA Times wanted him to write a regular column. He was stoked. When he recently landed a book deal, he asked me for advice about how to manage such a big project while maintaining current work. We walked through it and by the end, he was confident it would all work out. He'd talked about writing a book forever, it was finally happening.
At the SHOT Show every year, Bob got to know my Dad. Always excited to see each other, they exchanged stories about their favorite tools, tricks of the trade and new things they'd seen on the show floor.
Bob was always cheering me on, not because he had to, but because he genuinely cared about my wellbeing. He always had my back and even offered his place in North Carolina as a safe house should anything terrible ever happen in D.C.
When I received the news of Bob's death Monday afternoon, I was in disbelief. Shortly after, complete sadness and grief took over. Then, devastation.
I will remember Bob for all of the smiles he put on my face and the laughter he brought to those around him. He was an incredible friend with the kindest of hearts. He served as an important mentor to many and was an overwhelmingly positive influence in my life. I was blessed to know him and I will miss him dearly. Please keep his family in your prayers during this horribly difficult time. He leaves behind his wife and two young daughters. We have set up a GoFundMe page to help, which you can access here.
Goodbye, my friend. Rest in peace.