It is with a heavy heart that I notify you of the passing of American Patriot, Gunnery Sergeant Thomas George Beattie, United States Marine Corps (Retired). When I came home from Naval Service in 1993, one of the first 2nd Amendment activist I met was Tom Beattie. A tireless advocate of the rights of self defense, Tom Beattie handed me his business card when we first met. The card simply said, “Interesting Projects Undertaken.” His name on the card was Thomas, but everyone around him called him “Gunny.” The card made no mention of his background as a career Marine who had served in Korea & Viet Nam nor his service in a number of banana republics south of the border. For 22 years Tom Beattie served his country in the company of America’s Warrior-Protectors – The Marines.
One of the “interesting projects” he undertook in retirement was to take up the job that others had little time for – citizen/lobbyist. He was often found in the halls of the legislature advancing the cause of freedom and protecting North Carolinians’ Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Pro 2nd Amendment lawmakers enjoyed his visits and appreciated the wealth of information he carried around in his head while the gun grabbing legislators ran in the other direction when they spotted that black felt cowboy hat coming down the hall. For all of us who don’t have the time or opportunity to button hole politicians on the right to keep and bear arms, Gunny was there for you and me.
Gunny Beattie stood watch as sentry in the Marines and at the North Carolina Legislature. General Order #5 from the General Orders for Sentries states: “To quit my post only when properly relieved.” According to the Beattie family, Gunny was on watch Saturday evening at his computer guarding the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Beattie, You Stand Relieved. Semper Fidelis, Marine.
Now the rest of us the RKBA community will have to take up the Gunny’s post and try our best to carry out the rest of the Sentry’s orders while standing guard for America’s first freedom. This Sunday is the eleventh day of the eleventh month, known in this country as Veterans’ Day and Remembrance Day in the rest of the English speaking world. Take a moment this Sunday and remember Gunnery Sergeant Thomas George Beattie, USMC (Ret.) and remember why he spent much of his life protecting your rights.