Rachelle is my younger sister. She looks up to me but doesn’t understand how someone could hold her in the same esteem. But I do. She’s the mother of four ranging in ages from three to 17 years old, and a devoted healthcare professional. Her dream was to be a forensic pathologist, but life steered her onto a different path. She first worked as an emergency medical technician (EMT) and accepted a nursing internship while making wages from side jobs. She did this all while balancing family and attending college in the evenings to become a nurse. Rachelle earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2007 and a Master of Science in Nursing 6 years later. She continued developing her skills and became a flight nurse before earning a board-certification as a nurse practitioner. Today, she’s on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I couldn’t be prouder.
My mother-in-law is named Susan. Separated from my family, she’s welcomed me into hers as another son. She’s the mother of three and became a nurse’s aide in 1977. While raising her family, Susan earned an associate degree, and in 1992 completed her boards to become a registered nurse (RN). Susan has been serving in a hospital ever since.
Derrick is my brother-in-law. Self-driven and bright, he became a doctor in 2006, and today specializes in the intensive care of premature and sick newborns. He drives 90 minutes each way to work, often sleeping at the hospital following 18-hour shifts, while his wife stays at home with their four children. To do his job safely, he and his staff have to assume that all moms are positive with COVID-19, which has changed their policies, procedures and day-to-day workflow.
I also hold my friends close, including many who are active law enforcement and fire and rescue. Even G&A’s Chris Cerino, Richard Nance and Jeremy Stafford are pulling additional overtime as police officers to keep their citizens safe. My Dad once called these “thankless jobs,” but no more. If you are among those who face the risk of infection and death to protect the rest of us, please accept my deepest gratitude.
The firearm industry is also responding, even as stay-at-home orders threaten to restrict our ability to exercise our 2nd Amendment rights and the livelihood of gun stores. On March 20, Hornady eased our fears of another ammunition shortage by declaring it is committed to production during the crisis. “We want you to know that we are doing everything we can to ship more [ammunition], keep [stores] in stock and keep things moving,” said Jason Hornady.
Remington has offered a million square feet of unused manufacturing space at its Ilion, New York, plant to Governor Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump. Remington CEO Ken D’Arcy said the company “would be honored to help produce ventilators, surgical masks, hospital beds, or any other products to aid the efforts to combat the coronavirus.”
5.11 Tactical, KelTec, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, and SIG Sauer are among many other companies choosing to support the fight by manufacturing face shields and masks, as well as donating existing supplies to local hospitals, law enforcement, firefighters and medical professionals. To date, SIG Sauer alone has donated more than 15,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the country.
Support from the firearm industry continues to build as we learn how to serve those who are serving us. Once we recover from coronavirus’ aftermath, I hope that we never forget the businesses who have chosen to be there for America’s heroes unconditionally.