Outdoor Industry Offers Aid to Ukraine
In late February, Vladimir Putin made good on a long-standing threat and invaded the Ukraine embarking on a path of destruction. The action disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of citizens and has brought the world to a breathless standstill as people and governments worry about it becoming a broader conflict. The Ukrainian people, however, did not have the opportunity to be in shock. Instead, the world watched on as the community of a now war-torn nation gathered arms, made Molotov cocktails and fought back mightily.
This patriotism, and will to protect and honor their land, is something that deeply resonated with the outdoor community—a community also built on the foundation of legacy, history and pride. And so it came as little surprise that those within the community wanted to lend aid to those in need.
On Feb. 28 Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, released a statement urging gun owners across the country to support Zbroya—the Ukrainian Gun Owners Association (UGOA.)
“Our brother and sister gun owners in the Ukraine are fighting for their lives,” Gottlieb wrote., “And now is the time for gun owners across the country and around the world to step up and help them in their hour of need.”
Gottlieb stressed that the importance of civilian arms rights was more prevalent now than ever, because when a nation is threatened, the responsibility for the nation’s defense invariably falls to the people, the patriots willing to take up arms and stand on the front lines of freedom.
The Second Amendment Foundation was not the only one to publish a call to action. On March 1, AMMO, Inc. offered one million rounds of ammunition to Ukrainian armed forces, inspired by Ukraine’s President Zelensky’s plea for ammunition.
“Ammo Inc., and we as Americans stand firmly in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence, we stand for freedom and democracy everywhere. While we fervently hope for a quick and peaceful resolution to the crisis and that diplomacy will win the day, we condemn the Russian aggression and its threat to Ukraine’s territorial integrity and freedom,” said Fred Wagenhals, CEO of Ammo Inc.
Though the oft-quoted line from the Ukrainian president—“the fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride”—was not made in a public speech but instead attributed to “a senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of the conversation” according to the Associated Press—Zelensky’s continuous presence on the front lines of the fight holds true to the common sentiment.
Ammo Inc.’s offer gained tremendous support, and according to a press release on www.Ammoinc.com published on March 8, their management team is working around the clock to navigate the logistical and legal complexities involved in seeing that the ammunition is swiftly delivered to the proper parties in the Ukraine. In the meantime, a CARE crisis fund is available for those to donate to the Ukraine to provide immediate support.
In line with Ammo Inc., other outdoor companies followed suit. Remington, CCI, Speer and Federal have all pledged one-million rounds of ammunition. Adams Arms is building rifles for the Ukraine in addition to selling support shirts via their website. Proceeds of the sale are going to the Ukrainian National Bank’s war fund. Federal offers T-shirts whose proceeds are going to the Ukrainian Crisis Relief Fund.
In a viral video, a Ukrainian woman was heard telling armed Russian soldiers on Ukrainian soil, “Take these seeds so sunflowers grow here when you die,” BBC News reported. The sunflower, Ukraine’s national flower, has since become a symbol of resistance. And as shown by the unique support by the outdoor community, resistance can come in many forms including aid by any means one is capable of.
Photo courtesy of Igor Karimov via Unsplash