Gone Too Soon: AR-15.com Founder Edward Avila Passes AwayAR-15.com founder Edward Avila has lost his years-long battle with cancer, according to his brother, who announced the sad news on the website that he created more than 20 years ago.

He fought until the end, sharing his story with the community (in the Team Forum) and hopefully inspiring hope in others. He was ever stoic, honest, and accepting of what life had put before him and he made the most of every moment he was able to cram into his last year. Even at the end, he did not ask for anything, did not complain, did not give in. He went out on his own terms, fighting and stubborn to the last.

I’m having to write this early because I know when the time comes, I wont have the strength to do so. Edward started this site as a mailing list back in 1996 when he left the military. He had a passion for the AR platform, but there simply was no information online about it. It was small back then, about 20 people for the long while, until internet usages and interest began to grow. The mail list quickly became 200+ people and needed a new approach. He enlisted my help and we moved it to a discussion forum format. It has since grown into an amazing community of folks, not just to talk and share firearm information, but to make friendships and look out for one another. ARFCOM changed from a firearm site, to a collection of patriots with a shared love of this country and what our founding fathers died for. His legacy will remain as long as we look out for one another, find the best in ourselves, and never give up on our rights.

Edward’s loss is a big one for the community. He was a huge source of knowledge, which he always loved to share. He was a passionate humanitarian and helped so many people because of this site. He was an incredible brother, one of my heroes, and my best friend. He was an amazing father, son, and loving husband. This world, which he leaves behind, will be a less special without him in it.

I could talk for days about Ed and the lives we lived and shared. I could talk about his impact on the world and the legacy he leaves behind. Instead, I invite you to share a memory you may have of Edward. A story, a shared experience, an exchange of ideas, a conversation, anything that made you smile. Let’s celebrate him for the things he did and remember a hero of the community. Sharing his memory will allow him to continue to live within each of us. Hopefully this will help his spirit continue to touch other folks and maybe inspire a few to change for the better.

I only had the opportunity to meet Edward a couple of times over the years, and every time I did I walked away with a smile on my face. His friendly nature and passion for our individual freedoms made him a wonderful ambassador for the Second Amendment, and it’s not an overstatement to say that the robust community of online 2A activists that exists today would not exist in its current from without ARFCOM and the work of Edward Avila. He will be missed and mourned by all who knew and loved him, and by many more who never had the opportunity to meet him, but were changed by him all the same.