Robert Eugene Owens, Second Amendment advocate, and editor of “Bearing Arms,” was found dead near his North Carolina home of a gunshot wound to the head in an apparent suicide.
The North Carolina News & Observer reported that police responded to a report late Monday morning of a man lying near a stop sign in the town of Fuquay-Varina.
When police arrived at about 11:00 a.m., they found Owens lying on the sidewalk with a gun nearby.
Just prior to the incident, the “Bearing Arms” founder, who wrote under the name Bob Owens, left an apparent suicide message on his personal Facebook page.
“In the end, it turns out that I’m not strong,” the message said. “I’m a coward, and a selfish son of a bitch. I’m sorry.”
Neighbor Lanelle Hunter replied to Owens’ last message.
“You don’t know us but we are one of your many neighbors who saw you today and are so incredibly sad that you felt you couldn’t reach out for help,” she wrote. “I weep for your children and wife and entire family whose lives are forever changed and have to endure such horrible pain and loss.”
Nonetheless, police haven’t ruled out foul play.
“This is an ongoing investigation by the Fuquay-Varina Police Department and we will await the medical examiner’s report as to the official cause of death,” police wrote, according to local CBS affiliate WNCN.
— Tom Woods (@tomwoods55) May 9, 2017
According to the bio on his Facebook page, Owens was survived by a wife and family.
“Husband, Father, Son, Brother, crappy shooter who writes a bit about firearms, training, and policy,” the self-effacing description states.
He was apparently much better than a “crappy shooter,” as this Facebook post from a few years ago attests. “Deadly accurate past 1,200 yards”?
Dan Zimmerman wrote a touching tribute on “The Truth About Guns” website.
“He was a dedicated hoplophile, an avid shooter and a fierce supporter of the right to keep and bear arms,” Zimmerman wrote. “Our condolences go out to his family, friends and co-workers. He will be missed.”
Although the vast majority of social media posts expressed respect, shock and sorrow, at least one thought it an appropriate moment to champion gun control.
— Doug Taylor (@TrulyDougTaylor) May 9, 2017
Late last year, NRA TV Live interviewed Owens about a piece he’d written that dispelled a claim by “Everytown” that there had been 203 school shootings since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Owens researched each incident and found that all but 44 were bogus.
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If you or someone you know needs help, call the U.S. Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, a free and 24/7 service that can provide suicidal persons or those around them with support, information and local resources.
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