I met Jim Fuller at the Rifle Dynamics AK build course in Jacksonville, NC earlier this year. He strikes me as a man who loves freedom, who loves to teach, and who thoroughly enjoys his job. As we say down home, “He’s good people.”
Jim became friends of the Haydens and the staff at Red Jacket Firearms because of their early shared interest in building quality AKM rifles. He even appeared on their show.
Because of the relationship between Jim Fuller and the people at the center of the recent criminal complaint against Will Hayden, many people have asked Jim if the allegations are true. Jim is of course in no position to have any first-hand knowledge, but the sheer volume of questions made him want to say something, and so he posted this commentary on Facebook last night (We’ve added paragraph breaks to make it a little easier to read).
I have kept quiet about the Will Hayden stuff, but I have been getting many contacts asking my thoughts this is the only statement I want to make at this time, I don’t want to answer anymore questions.
Will Hayden was one of the early AK builders in the US and we developed a friendship around that, he knew the gun well and we had many great discussions about it. He invited me on his TV show multiple times, it was a fun experience that also gave me a good look at how a destructive reality TV show can be to a business. In the time I spent with him I never had a thought that he may be capable of doing things he has been accused of. Whatever the truth it’s between Will Hayden and his God now.
I have privately spoken with Stephanie and a few others close to the situation and have heard more than I ever wanted to know.
The Justice system will deal with Will Hayden but that’s a separate issue from the pain and heartbreak that has been caused.
I have seen a few attempts at comedy memes which may be funny to some but are quite painful to a lot of innocent people, I’m sorry but I can’t find that funny.
I have defended Red Jacket and their Show on a lot of occasions not just because of Will Hayden but the many others there that I know and consider friends who are good honest industry people trying to do the right thing. If RJF can survive as a company after this thats up to the public, the RJF experience launched Vince Knuckles and Glen Fleming into business, two great gunsmiths/shooters that are now bringing good stuff to market with their own companies.
My only concern at this time is the we’ll being of Stephanie and her sister, and also Rebecca Ramsey who took quite a beating as well. God bless and take care of them in this and future pain, they have suffered enough. I’ll end this with a quote from Stephanie Ford,
“Today is a new day and I have new eyes, God has guided me and helped me realize. I dont need that man, I dont need him at all.
I feel tall today, I will walk with pride. I know ive done the right thing, some things just cant ride. He hurt too many, but now hes locked away. I pray I can forgive you in my heart one day. But today. Today ill be strong. I wont let it destroy me, like it was all along. Because she needs me beside her, and I wont let her be lonely.”
I hope that we as human beings can keep some perspective on this situation.
This isn’t about Will Hayden… not the parts that matter, anyway.
If these are allegations are true, they represent one of the worse betrayals of trust possible between a father and his children.
If these allegations are true, then years of private abuse have just been compounded by public shaming and exposure. It’s not anything any family should have to go through, especially in regards to the victims.
If you’re a religious person, I think everyone involved in the situation could use your prayers.
Mine are already up.