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Coonan ad (courtesy


Thank you for bringing this to our attention. That statement was not a part in any of our discussions. Unfortunately, the EVOLVE Facebook page is run by interns and the current communication is abysmal. Rest assured that this matter will be handled as quickly as possible.

Dan was brought into this discussion to move towards a civil gun safety discussion…never a gun rights discussion.

I am on this and will be back to you soon. In the mean time, I respectfully request that cooler heads prevail here. I will have a reaction from Dan Coonan as soon as possible.

Dave Dietz
Director of Marketing
Coonan Inc.

[UPDATE: Coonan has doubled down. Text below.]

This from Dan Coonan

Most important, I am a firm supporter of our Second Amendment rights – all of them!

My goal, and the proposed goal of the relationship with EVOLVE, is to shift the single-pointed focus of gun related violence and the social/economic/political aspects that are promoting a culture of violence in this country.

Evolve is intending to bridge the gap between the extremely large number of people that are caught in the middle of this debate and shift the focus of the debate to the root causes of violence, as well as promote firearm safety and responsible ownership.

The first step is to start a common dialogue between gun owners and non-gun owners. We at Coonan, Inc. support that dialogue and want to help nurture that growth in the proper direction.

We understand the enormity and sensitivity of a project like this, and ask that you please be patient with the development of this effort.

[UPDATE 2: Coonan’s Statement Clarifying EVOLVE Relationship]

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    • Evolve is a front by anti gun activist Becky bonds. I have gotten emails from her asking that I support bills fully banning anything over 10 round mags and sporting rifles.

      Her group takes credit for Noceraa’s gun report, which among other things counts Boston Bomber Tarneav as a gun violence “victim” whose death means our second amendment rights need to be infringed.

      The group she is “political director” for takes credit for fundraising for Bloombergs mayors against guns.

      She has recently started removing tweets praising peirs morgan and Bloomberg on their gun rights positions

  1. Quick response, less than an hour after the post went up.

    Well, as the previous post said, “Maybe Coonan’s internet connection was down and he couldn’t use his Google Fu for a little due diligence.”

    • Matt, the problem is not a subtleties of language or an intern, t is the actual people at the top. Have you looked at the tweets of the founders of “evolve”? they congratulate Piers morgan for blaming Newton on the NRA?

    • To quote John Hammond in Jurassic Park – “I don’t blame people for their mistakes, but I do ask that they pay for them.”

    • It isn’t a mistake. The founders of the group are rabidly anti gun rights. Have you looked at their tweets? They congratulate Piers Morgan for blaming the NRA for newton

  2. Wow. Pretty stand up move. It would be quite poetic if somebody got canned and the official termination letter actually used the term “dumbass.”

      • If there is any truth to “the intern screwed up!” claim, who in their right mind would allow an intern the kind of opportunity to involve their company in something like this? If they did that, they should really think through their business approach and maybe a little capitalistic correction is in order.

        • The EVOLVE Facebook page is run by interns, according to the statement. Not Coonan’s page. Lots of people seeming to have trouble with basic reading comprehension.

          It’s absolutely common to have the social media facets of companies be run by interns.

        • After rereading it, you are right Matt in FL. Then I ask, what kind of organization puts themselves at the mercy of another companies interns? And for the record, any company that lets interns manage there social media presence should go out of business.

        • In today’s social media centric world, it would seem prudent to have qualified, invested individuals running social media for your company as information goes viral and can cause massive damage to the brand, it can also result is a massive spike in sales and recognition. Seems like a poor business decision to let the interns run social media.

        • I feel this is the appropriate place to make a quip about social media being confusing to anyone over 25, but I’m too tired.

        • Much like water, blame flows downhill. Some poor dog will get his butt kicked when his master comes home tonight, I bet. Poor fella!

  3. I can have a lot of respect for this sort of response. It’s timely and recognizes there may be an issue, but without jumping to any conclusions either way. I wish more companies/groups/people/politicians would operate in this fashion.

    • “Unfortunately, the EVOLVE Facebook page is run by interns and the current communication is abysmal.”
      This is a conclusion. This aspersion casting is also unprofessional CYA.

  4. The “not all guns” part of the myfacespacebook statement got my attention, so I wrote Coonan and politely expressed my concern with them associating with an anti-2A group.

  5. Marketing: an art developed by a guy named Bernese, same guy that wrote the 1st book on Propaganda which referred to PPL as animals who must be driven (Nudge, Shove) for their own good; worked for a Progressive named Woodrow Wilson, a extreme racist and endorsed Eugenics, among other things

  6. How can anyone not be impressed by the reaction time?

    I take all PR with a grain of salt, especially when gun makers are mentioned in the same sentence or headline with activist groups. A large grain. Actually, multiple grains from the strongest salts around (not bath salts, mind you).

    Give Coonan the benefit of the doubt. They might have been misled by Evolve (like antis would ever do that).

    • The Coonan site seems difficult to access now, I suspect that Mr. Dietz, the student of the Progressive Mr Bernese. is explaining to Mr. Coonan how his Brilliant Plan to align Coonan Arms with a Progressive anti-gun Org was not received as fore told and that Mr Dietz’s Instant Intern CYA evaporated PDQ.
      Jus Sayin’

  7. Poor form, David – blaming an intern is a tired excuse. Do you really expect us to believe that an intern set up an alliance between Coonan and a gun control group?

      • It does reek of contemporary collegiate ignorance, BUT I think we cannot avoid blaming Coonan itself for this. Coonan for some reason thought these ideas were worth pandering too.

        I want to know how THAT decision was made by Coonan. I could not care less for the sniveling of some Marketing weenie, that is par for the course.

        • The poossible intern slip up on banning some types of guns is a Freudian one. The Evolve group is clearly anti-NRA and anti-gun in general.

          They are a classic black propaganda outfit, albeit a very amateurish one, and Coonan either took their bait or is willing to collaborate with such operations in exchange for a promise of increased market share.

  8. Mr. Dietz –

    I am very impressed by your speed in replying to us here. However, I cannot believe that, as Director of Marketing for your firm, you were so abysmally negligent in your duties that:
    – You did not feel that teaming with what could be described as a loose coalition of unemployed con artists could possibly be detrimental to your brand’s image;
    – You permitted that coalition to direct an intern to deface your web site; and
    – You did not even think to inspect this mob’s work until your errors were brought to your attention by disgusted and annoyed potential customers who will now not only not buy your products, but also mock you, your brand, and your products.

    I believe that you should be ashamed to use the title “Director of Marketing.” I also believe that your immediate resignation, along with those of the others involved in this insulting fiasco, is the only relief your firm should entertain.

    etc, etc.

    • Cough, Recoil Mag, Cough
      Please locate Mr. Dietz’s bio page and see what his true affiliations are

  9. There’s plenty of long established organizations if your company wants to promote TRUE gun safety. You have to be an idiot to align with any recent vintage “gun safety” group and not realize they are in fact gun grabbers. Just really stupid and why would I want to spend big money for a gun built by stupid people?

  10. Wow!! I didn’t even hear the transmission grind on that turn around went straight from overdrive to reverse and never even tapped the clutch or brakes. Impressive too bad the first time I ever heard about a Coonan was this mess which hasn’t really made me want one.

  11. Cooler heads prevail? WTF is that? Hey Coonan, how about you do some actual research before you blindly align your company with with some false flag group. How can you be that foolish and still stay in business?

  12. It is too soon to call this a stand up move. How did it start to begin with? That is the real question.

    This is like a cross between the Trojan Horse and a UFO. What is this “Evolve” group all about? I’m looking at their facebook page and it is just meme pictures with stupid jokes about trigger safety and “#Merica”.

    Was this page put up by kids who watch too much Stephen Colbert? Or was it a legit attempt to stick a gun banner’s flag of dominion in the ground, thinking we would not notice until it was too late to undermine it?

  13. Dan was brought into this discussion to move towards a civil gun safety discussion…never a gun rights discussion.

    Ummm… that’s the new “label” they’ve given to the anti-gun agenda. Now it’s about “gun safety.” Bullshit! They don’t care about “safety.” Shit, WE are the experts on that, by necessity. We don’t need your “help” with “gun safety.” Nice try with a weak euphemism.

    • The Twitter feed in their sidebar — full of slanted MSM articles — says a lot about them. Their only positive statement about themselves (on the website at least) is that they want to “ignite a new American gun culture where everyone is responsible for saving lives.”

      Fine words, but they don’t seem to realize that the “old” American gun culture always has been about that very thing. Gun culture revolves around responsibility, skill, and self-reliance. The media, and apparently (r)evolve(r), has it hopelessly mixed up with thug culture (which is about violence, not guns). They can’t get it through their thick skulls that gun culture is already chock-full of educated, thoughtful, reasonable people.

      We don’t need a new gun culture, we need *more* gun culture.

      • It’s another call for Collectivism; “It Takes A Village” and of course every village needs a Chiefton to tell the villagers what to do and how to do it.

        • Every village needs an idiot, too. Sounds like this Evolve group and Coonan’s marketing staff can provide staffing for at least a half dozen or so villages right off.

  14. “Mr. Coonan, do you really think it’s a good idea to have a bunch of unpaid, college interns running our FB communications, I mean FB is the largest media site on the planet?”

    “Sure, what could go wrong…”

  15. According to the Evolve twitter feed ( ), this is the twitter feed of the Evolve founder:

    Note such nuggets as:

    @piersmorgan don't give up. We need big voices to talk straight. Eventually sensible people get the microphone.— The Gun Maiden (@TheGunMaiden) October 13, 2013

    Also re-tweets of Piers Morgan’s tweets.

    Shannon Watts re-tweet:

    2 y.o.'s shooting themselves are not 'accidents.' @shannonrwatts: "Accidental" 2 y.o. Shoots Self W/Mother's Handgun— The Gun Maiden (@TheGunMaiden) October 10, 2013

    And this juicy one:

    This vaccine is the next frontier: Violence Is Contagious – Rebecca J. Rosen – The Atlantic— The Gun Maiden (@TheGunMaiden) October 4, 2013

    Honestly, I can’t keep reading it….

    • Interesting what comes to light when you follow an organization down the rabbit-hole, isn’t it.

      Their Facebook page was *almost* reasonable, although disjointed. Their website is a hollow shell papered over with vague references to “gun culture,” a Facebook badge, and a glimpse of their Twitter feed. And their Twitter account is liberally peppered not only with the standard anti-gun talking points, but includes a Piers Morgan retweeting wankfest.

      Follow the rabbit hole deep enough, and eventually you’ll find out what the nest is really made of.

  16. Whats the facebook page of Evolve have to do with anything? The “dont be a dumb ass” comment is on the Coonan blog.

    On a side note it looks like Dan thinks you should have a dog for home protection.

    Meh, I didnt plan on buying a 1911 in .357, dont think i will be in that market now.

      • I really don’t understand what y’all think is so wrong with the statement: “Become a responsible gun owner, don’t be a dumbass.”

        You’re ascribing anti-gun philosophies to the words “responsible gun owner,” but I consider myself a responsible gun owner, and I adhere to exactly none of those anti-gun sentiments.

        So what’s the problem here?

        • MATT
          The problem is that it is THEIR definition of how YOU WILL behave. What part of “Shall not be infringed” don’t you understand MATT ?

        • And how do you know what Coonan means by those words? How do you know that what I do doesn’t exactly dovetail with how they would describe responsible gun ownership? I don’t see anything at all that define what they mean by that. And I think “don’t be a dumbass” is pretty universal language.

    • Evolve wants gun owners to lead the conversation around responsible gun ownership and to actively engage in initiatives that reduce gun violence. Coonan Inc. is the first firearms manufacturer to work directly with such a group.

      Let’s make it the first AND LAST. Examples must be made of.

    • Great link to Coonan’s site. So exactly why have they not yanked their PR about being in cahoots with (r)evolve(r)? It’s a website “dumbass”es–you can change it in a few milliseconds.

      • Depends on if you administer it yourself or not. As an example, I give you TTAG. The back-end stuff is contracted out, so it’s not like I can just go in and fix stuff that’s not right (assuming I knew how, which I don’t). RF or Dan have to reach out to the administration company, and they fix it, and sometimes that takes time.

      • “It’s not the crime; it’s the coverup.”

        Just going out and yanking down the press release doesn’t stop the story that’s already out there, and it makes them look shady and dishonest. Better to leave it as-is until they sort out a response, rather than just a knee-jerk takedown. Besides, someone will just pull the deleted version out of a search engine cache anyway. You can’t actually delete anything from the internet anymore…

        Remember “Cheaper Than Dirt doesn’t sell firearms.”?

  17. I spent a total of about 60 seconds on their Facebook page, and I had seen everything I needed to know about the group. Complete ridicule of gun owners, as well as articles praising Bloomberg’s initiatives. I’m afraid Coonan will find itself the way of the Dodo for this move. Evolve is NOT about gun safety, but rather it is a front for the anti crowd to appear moderate. Good work Coonan. I will never support your company with my hard earned money.

  18. For those asking about Dietz, here you go:

    From what I’m seeing on his profile though, I’m going to have to say this was an honest mistake. Though the “like” for Evolve still troubles me, I don’t think he did due diligence on this one.

  19. I did have a reference to the Coonan on my website. Mentioned it briefly in the “How to Choose a Handgun” section. Thought it an interesting, if not exactly practical, concept.

    Scrubbed. Don’t want even the slightest bit of that anti-gun stink on me. .

  20. As of a few minutes ago the announcement is still showing in the Coonan facebook page, posted by the Coonan facebook account…how is any of this the fault of Evolve’s interns again? Do you, the director of marketing, not have the keys to your own facebook page?

  21. Just now checked out the webpage of Coonan Inc.

    They have the FULL article from (r)EVOLVE(r) on their main website page. This has NOTHING to do (as they claimed) with FaceBook and silly interns. It’s on their OWN website.

    Me thinks Dietz has been speaking with a forked tongue.

  22. Good god people, please get over yourselves. It sounds like the Coonan company made an honest mistake and is trying to do damage control.

    There’s nothing TTAG loves more than something to vilify and boycott.

    • This was NOT ONLY on their facebook page – it was (and is) on their own website. This article was put out by the founder of their OWN company.

      There has been NO mistake made, they have done this on purpose, and their “marketing guru” is in the process of trying to walk it back.

    • I know, it’s so easy to just accidentally join a gun control group that wants to ban the very product you sell….

  23. Reaction time was impressive, but the blame the interns (even if it is the other group’s interns) is old and tired. I’d be more impressed if they just admitted that they agreed to partner with this organization without doing their due diligence, and were taking steps to correct it (i.e. telling them to shove off).

    • Yeah, I’m guessing that’s where the “That statement was not a part in any of our discussions” part of the statement comes in. If the EVOLVE folks misrepresented themselves (i.e. not the whole truth) when they talked to Coonan, and Coonan didn’t research beyond what they’d been told, I could easily see this happening. There are quite a few anti-gun organizations out there that don’t appear to be such at first blush, and this is just likely one more example.

      • “…when they talked to Coonan, and Coonan didn’t research …”
        What? I doubt that the entire company Skyped over to EVOLVE and decided to team up. SOMEONE fairly high up at Coonan had this brainwave and carried it through to its final Wagnerian PR train wreck.

      • I’m not buying the accident angle. Their blog posts and quotes point to damage control rather than lack of due diligence. Hope they enjoy the warm fuzzies they got because it will cost their brand.

  24. Blog has not been scrubbed yet:

    Posted on October 15, 2013 by Coonan
    Evolve, the gun responsibility not-for-profit has teamed up with innovative pistol manufacturer Coonan Inc. to open a new dialog: Become a responsible gun owner, don’t be a dumbass.

    Evolve wants gun owners to lead the conversation around responsible gun ownership and to actively engage in initiatives that reduce gun violence. Coonan Inc. is the first firearms manufacturer to work directly with such a group. The legendary gun designer, Dan Coonan, has never been afraid to tell the public the hard truths. In his words, “I totally support and endorse the message of Evolve. To save lives and to work for a society with less gun violence. We need all citizens, gun owners or not, to come together and support a mutually beneficial and inclusive message to affect not only gun violence, but all forms of violence. We should not live in a society where people feel that they have to be armed to be safe, or that their house must be a fortress to be secure.” On the topic of home security, Dan Coonan says, “Get a dog “. The Coonan .357 Magnum Automatic slogan is “Looking for your first pistol? This isn’t it.”

    Upcoming videos featuring Dan Coonan, will answer your questions about firearms, gun safety, and gun violence. The series also picks up on Evolve’s theme “Don’t be a Dumbass”. Evolve co-founder Rebecca Bond explained: “ I grew up in Minnesota in a Military family. I strongly believe that we can all help curb unnecessary gun violence without compromising our constitutional rights, by re-emphasizing and adopting a code of responsible behaviors. I applaud Dan and all the people at Coonan Inc. for taking a stand on a difficult and controversial topic.”

    We would love to hear your concerns and questions about firearms, gun ownership, and gun safety. Please send them to: [email protected]. This is your opportunity to have your voice heard in this new and exciting nationwide dialog.

    Posted in News | Leave a comment

  25. It is kind of hard to figure out exactly what Coonan thought they would gain by working with Evolve. Reading any part of Evolve’s communication would immediately raise a few red flags with me and Coonan makes their living manufacturing and selling guns. You’d think their spidey sense would be a little more finely tuned.

    What’s more, how did they think partnering with an anti gun group would help them sell more guns? Their current market is going to, in part, vilify them. And I really don’t think the folks that like phrases like ‘Responsible gun reform’ and Piers Morgan are going to start buying .357 1911s. Why on earth would they pursue this in the first place. It’s had to believe that they became part of Evolve’s campaign and just didn’t check up on them.

  26. What can one say, that Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol-Pot loved ‘safe responsible gun ownership’ as well?
    The entire debacle boggles the mind and violates every successful business model one can think of.
    In fact one has to dive deep into Atlas Shrugged to find a world where this behavior was rewarded

  27. Coonan’s stupidity is still on display on their main page and the top of the blog page at 20+ hours after Mr Dietz’s initial response.

    I guess that means that old man Coonan is fine and dandy with the message conveyed.

  28. Hmmm. Methinks Mr Dietz is spinning rather haplessly here.

    Throwing an intern under the bus over a boo-boo on the Evolve website is one thing-

    a strategic decision to align a long-established and well-regarded gun maker with a new faux gun-group sprouted by PR firm weenies proud of their creds with MSNBC and Pierced Organ,

    that fer-crying-out-loud, speaks to the customer with a tagline like
    “don’t be a dumbass” is entirely another.

    I think we ought to give the owner, Mr Coonan, a chance to weigh in here.
    He seems to be a straight-shooter in the “Ask Dan” video series. I wonder if the chubby fellow who introduces himself as “Dave” is same Chief Marketer, Dave Dietz.

    At the very end, in responce to a viewer question, “have you ever made any mistakes?” – Dan responds to Dave, “I think coming here with you…”
    (referring to him appearing on the videos, dated 4/28/12)

    Might be prophetic…
    My guess is Mr Dietz is getting some straight talk right about now…
    I hear CTD, Dicks, and MAIG are hiring…interns….

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