Industry Loses A Character..We All Lose A Friend

Jul 29, 2020
Jeff Quinn, 1959-2020. For tens of thousands of followers on Gunblast, he was the honest face of firearms journalism. For those of us fortunate enough to know him, he was a true friend. OWDN Photo.

“Jeff Quinn passed today.”

Those three words on Monday rattled me more than any news I’ve gotten in quite a while. Jeff and I had been to a number of gun writer-type events together over the past few years, but it was the time with him away from the “events” that endeared him to me.

He was self-deprecating, unapologetic about his faith, fiercely loyal to his friends, and dedicated to his family.

He also managed to be one of the funniest, and most authoritative voices in the firearms news business. His Gunblast features combined genuine information with authentic entertainment.. sometimes intentional.

He was, according to his own website, “a full grown child who lives in the woods next to a national wildlife refuge in Tennessee. He always loved guns and shooting, and really loves writing about the things he loves. Born in 1959, Jeff is a Benefactor Life Member of the NRA, a Shootist conservative, and a Baptist. You may not agree with his opinions on guns, politics, or life in general, but he will give them freely to all who will listen!”

That, as they say in my neck of the woods, is “the water straight from the well.”

When we first met, Jeff and his lifelong running mate (and brother) Boge, looked at me like I’d fallen off a spaceship.

I looked at them like they’d escaped from Mayberry. Eventually, we realized we were actually a lot more alike than different.

Realizing that I love Bluegrass music finally iced the deal. In fact, Jeff declared I was “just another redneck in urban camo. ” Our friendship grew from there.

Sitting in an airport one afternoon, I asked him about how he’d gotten into the gun business.

“Just lucky,” he told me, “and it is a lot more fun than any other job I’ve ever tried.” He then proceeded to tell me that the original intent was to do a gun magazine online and the videos were only to attract potential subscribers. Things, he explained, quickly switched around.

When I asked him about YouTube and the following he’d built, he simply smiled and said, “God’s been good to me -and he’s probably being better to you than you deserve, too.”

He could say a lot without wasting words. To say I looked forward to spending time with him at every opportunity was an understatement. He likely considered me like the idiot relative he was stuck with entertaining, but he grinned through our times together.

He entertained me the same way his videos told you what he thought about any particular gun, caliber of ammunition, or accessory. He was honest, unassuming and always more concerned about you than Jeff Quinn.

He had a gleam in his eye that could be one of genuine amusement or the genuine wit he could turn -and off- in an instant.

What he never turned off was his humanity.

He always cared about others.

When his health started to deteriorate, I reached out to check on him.

His response was pure Jeff Quinn: “Thanks. You’re a lot older than me, you doin’ OK?”

If you knew him, you are visualizing the amused gleam in his eye as he sent that note.

He was one of the few people who would look at ways to make other people smile.

My favorite “essential Jeff Quinn-ism” was his June 16 Facebook posting - from his hospital bed:

“A young blonde nurse gave me a nice warm bath…

I think his name was David.”

Today, I’m missing the gleam in the eye, the wit - and the man. He was, above all else, a man; dedicated to his family.

Many others, including his beloved family, and thousands of dedicated fans- are hurting as well. They’re all in our thoughts and prayers.

Here’s the information on his funeral arrangements:

Memorial Service, Saturday, August 1, 2020

8:00 AM - Private Immediate Family Service at Anglin Funeral Home in Dover, Tennessee.

8:30 AM - Public Graveside Service at Stewart County Memorial Gardens, Spring St., Dover TN 37058

10:00 AM - Public Celebration of Life at Carlisle Missionary Baptist Church, 3485 Highway 49, Dover TN 37058

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Jeff's name to:

BIKERS WHO CARE, P.O. Box 1253, Clarksville TN 37041

We’ll keep you posted.

—Jim Shepherd