By Kevin Wilson
There are certain classes of human being for which I have no tolerance. Chief among them are lawyers, thieves, and people who try to make a quick buck off tragedy. (Insert easy joke about repeating myself here.)
Imagine then my shock and surprise when, in the wake of the tragic shooting in Las Vegas, I received this email from SOFREP’s Crate Club:
Now, before we continue: in the sake of full disclosure, I subscribed to their monthly club last year. After a few months, I was generally unsatisfied with the quality of the product received, so I canceled my subscription and wrote it off as a bad idea. For some reason, my attempts to unsubscribe from their mailing list were unsuccessful, and I was too lazy to go through the rigamarole of getting it labeled as spam, so I gave up and let the regular reminders to buy a product I had no interest in pile up in my inbox.
Also, I blacked out the promo code. If you get their emails, you already know it, and if you don’t get the emails and want the code, they’ll be more than happy to send you a half dozen different ones in the span of a month. They are nothing if not persistent. Hell, I got the above email twice.
Now onto the meat of the matter.
SOFREP claims their premium crates are curated by members of the special operations community. I won’t get into the actual contents, but the above package advertises a powerful flashlight and a flexible body armor insert.
If that’s something you think you need in your life, more power to you. I personally don’t think a flexible armor insert and a tactical flashlight is going to do you much good in a situation like the Las Vegas shooting. Most flexible armor inserts aren’t rated against rifle rounds, and waving around a flashlight is just gonna spotlight you for the shooter. At best, it’s a safety blanket. At worst, it’ll get you killed. But what do I know? My military career is predicated on the notion that the best way to engage the enemy is from a long ways off with rockets.
It’s not the shoddy tactical advice and products of questionable utility that piss me off, however. What really pisses me off is the fact that they’re using the Las Vegas shooting to make a sales pitch.
That’s not right.
In fact, it’s disgusting.
If your first instinct upon hearing that nearly sixty people have been killed and hundreds of others wounded in the worst mass shooting in modern American history is to peddle a product, I seriously question the direction your moral compass is pointing. Hell, if it’s your second, third, fourth, or fifth instinct, maybe you should start questioning your life’s choices. Because, spoiler alert: they’ve taken you to a bad place, my friend.
I guess the part that bothers me most is that SOFREP claims to be run by veterans. To what extent they are, I have no idea. But there are a few values that all veterans should find sacrosanct, and they should form an inviolable foundation upon which we conduct ourselves at all times.
Chief among those is honor.
To try to turn a profit off of dead Americans, to capitalize on the fear and uncertainty that inevitably follows such a tragedy, is inherently dishonorable. They have brought dishonor upon themselves, and upon the veteran community as a whole.
And so, I bear witness to this stain upon our honor. I call upon you all to bear witness as well, and to decide for yourselves whether or not you agree. Read what was written with your own eyes, and make up your own minds, and decide how best to act, if at all. Maybe you’re fine with it. That is, of course, your call to make. No man can let another decide for him in such matters.
Me personally, I cannot remain silent. I hope you won’t, either.