September 13, 2012
You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone in our industry who would suggest guns be kept out of civilians' hands.
However, those thoughts do sometimes make their way into print, and when it happens, the consequences can be catastrophic.
The recent controversy surrounding Recoil is a prime example.
In the magazine's fourth issue, editor Jerry Tsai took a hard-nosed stance on the Heckler & Koch MP7:
"[T]he MP7A1 is unavailable to civilians and for good reason. We all know that's technology no civvies should ever get to lay their hands on. This is a purpose-built weapon with no sporting applications to speak of. It is made to put down scumbags, and that's it."
Readers immediately began flooding Recoil's Facebook page, outraged at the "sporting purposes" stance Tsai took.
Readers' outrage, coupled with the loss of several major advertisers including Magpul, left Recoil scrambling to right the ship. Tsai later wrote a retraction on Recoil's website, but the damage had already been done and many were left unconvinced. Tsai's retraction was followed by an official statement from H&K on the company's Facebook page that seemed to further distance the company from Tsai and Recoil:
"Some readers have misinterpreted a recent feature story in RECOIL magazine as a reflection of HK policy. Heckler & Koch has a long presence in the US civilian market and throughout that time has been an ardent and passionate supporter of the Second Amendment and the American civilian shooter. This will always be the case. The contents, opinions, and statements expressed in that feature story are those of the writer, not Heckler and Koch's. Additionally, the writer and RECOIL magazine have issued a clarification and apology for the ill-chosen words used in the story.
"The HK MP7A1 4.6 mm Personal Defense Weapon mentioned in the story is a selective-fire product (capable of "full automatic" fire) and is currently restricted to military and law enforcement agencies by BATF. HK-USA has previously researched introducing similar commercial products, chambered in 4.6 mm, but it was determined that the final product would not have enough appeal or be legally feasible."
Only time will tell if Recoil will recover from this catastrophe, but for the rest of us media geeks, there's a lesson to be learned here: You, our faithful readers, will fight tooth and nail to defend the Second Amendment, and any statement that can be construed as a betrayal of trust will be taken quite seriously--we can assure you, we didn't need that reminder.
And as far as we're concerned, that's just fine.
UPDATE: On Thursday, Tsai announced on Recoil's website that he would be stepping down as editor, effective immediately.
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