RECOIL magazine has set the Internets ablaze with outrage. The firearms fraternity is fired-up at the gun mag’s MP7AI article. Specifically, the following: “Like we mentioned before, the 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.” TTAG writer Rob Pincus—and about a billion other pro-Second Amendment types—would like a word with RECOIL writer Jerry Tsai and his ballistic brethren about this. But first, here’s Tsai’s attempt to tamp-down the conflagration. Like so many mealy-mouthed mea culpas, Tsai ends up fanning the flames . . .
“Hey guys, this is Jerry Tsai, Editor of RECOIL. I think I need to jump in here and clarify what I wrote in the MP7A1 article. It looks like I may not have stated my point clearly enough in that line that is quoted up above. Let’s be clear, neither RECOIL nor I are taking the stance on what should or should not be made available on the commercial market although I can see how what was written can be confused as such.
“Because we don’t want anything to be taken out of context, let’s complete that quote and read the entire paragraph:
Like [sic] we mentioned before, the 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. Mike Cabrera of Heckler & Koch Law Enforcement Sales and veteran law enforcement officer with SWAT unit experience points out that this is a gun that you do not want in the wrong, slimy hands. It comes with semi-automatic and full-auto firing modes only. Its overall size places it between a handgun and submachine gun. Its assault rifle capabilities and small size make this a serious weapon that should not be taken lightly.
“Let’ also review why this gun should not be taken lightly. In the article it was stated that the MP7A1 is a slightly larger than handgun sized machine-gun that can be accurately fired and penetrate Soviet style body armor at more than 300 yards. In the wrong hands, that’s a bad day for the good guys.
“As readers of RECOIL, we all agree that we love bad-*** hardware, there’s no question about that. I believe that in a perfect world, all of us should have access to every kind of gadget that we desire. Believe me, being a civvie myself, I’d love to be able to get my hands on an MP7A1 of my own regardless of its stated purpose, but unfortunately the reality is that it isn’t available to us. As a fellow enthusiast, I know how frustrating it is to want something only to be denied it.
“Its manufacturer has not made the gun available to the general public and when we asked if it would ever come to the commercial market, they replied that it is strictly a military and law enforcement weapon, adding that there are no sporting applications for it. Is it wrong that HK decided against selling a full-auto pocket sized machine gun that can penetrate armor from hundreds of yards away? It’s their decision to make and their decision they have to live with not mine nor anybody else’s.
“I accepted their answer for what it was out of respect for those serving in uniform. I believe that we as gun enthusiasts should respect our brothers in law enforcement, agency work and the military and also keep them out of harms way. Like HK, I wouldn’t want to see one of these slip into the wrong hands either. Whether or not you agree with this is fine. I am compelled to explain a point that I was trying to make that may have not been clear.
Thanks for reading,
JT, Editor, RECOIL”
Mr. Pincus isn’t buying that for a minute . . .
DEAR RECOIL MAGAZINE,
In reference to: “Like we mentioned before, the 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…” To say I disagree with your thoughts on the MP7 would be a gross understatement.
In fact, the statement’s ignorance is amazing. In case you didn’t notice, the only reason Glocks, M&Ps, and probably most of the guns that are paying for advertising space in your rag are built is to put down bad guys. People may find “sporting purposes” for them but gun games aren’t why they exist. If Wired or Maxim had said what you did, I wouldn’t care. You should’ve known better.
The vast majority of firearms that have been designed and built in the history of the tool have been built for defensive or offensive use. Regardless of the intended role, military, law enforcement or civilian, the overwhelming majority of firearms on shelves in gun shops and shown in the pages of your now incredibly disappointing magazine are designed for use by people against people.
While the “shooting sports” label may be a banner that has hung over our industry for political and (sometimes) marketing reasons, your young magazine hasn’t exactly catered to the waterfowl or skeet crowds.
Personally, the MP7 is one of the few guns on the planet that I would rush out and pay H&K Retail Price for, if it were ever offered for civilian sale. I’ve had the pleasure of shooting them many times and training teams that use them. It is a great tool, but didn’t possess any magical power that made it reckless, dangerous or inappropriate for any responsible firearms owner to possess…for whatever reason they desire.
After reading Jerry Tsai’s attempt to justify the position by saying that he is concerned about the gun getting into the “wrong hands” and posing a threat to law enforcement, it is even more clear that this wasn’t just a slip up or the parroting of H&K’s sales policy. There is obviously an opinion held by the leadership of your magazine that thinks some guns are okay for us to own and some are not.
The ridiculousness of the idea that because MP7 rounds can penetrate soft body armor, they shouldn’t be owned by civilians is the kind of thing gun control advocates and anti-gunners say, not something that should be coming out of the mouth of a magazine that cashes checks written by the gun industry and its customers.
I had high hopes for your publication. Now I expect people to stop reading it, advertisers to fade away and your writers to submit their work to other publications that actually understand the industry they are covering.