The Loss of Big John

    John Hosford, one of the great, unsung heroes of the gun rights movement and a dear personal friend, passed away on Christmas Eve while visiting his son in Washington State.  The Knox family sends our deepest condolences to John's family as we join them in mourning his passing.

    John was one of the biggest men I have ever known, in physical stature, enthusiasm, commitment, loyalty, and heart.  Even though we occasionally found ourselves on different sides of the internal battles that have plagued the gun rights movement over the years, John was one of the few who never let a difference of opinion turn into personal animosity towards my father or our family.  His friendship held through the good times and the bad and he never wavered in his love and friendship.

    The last time I saw John was at the Gun Rights Policy conference in Cincinnati last October.  Even then, two years after Dad's death, John could not speak of him without choking up.  We didn't get as much opportunity to visit that weekend as we would have liked, but I was glad to bump into him while I had Mom on my cell phone to let him say hello.  He returned the phone almost an hour later with a depleted battery after catching up with Mom and reassuring himself that she really was doing well.

     John served in law enforcement for many years, was Executive Director of the Citizens' Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and spent some time in D.C. working for NRA-ILA.  One of his proudest moments was when his baby grandson was recognized as the youngest Life Member at the NRA Convention in Seattle.  John was a committed and tireless laborer for the right to keep and bear arms, willing and able to take a leadership role, but never hesitating to dive into the trenches and get his hands dirty.

    There will never be another like Big John.  He will be sorely missed.


Jeff Knox

27 December, 2007