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RECOIL magazine angered the gun rights community with an article on the Heckler & Koch MP7A1. Writer/editor Jerry Tsai wrote “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.” Tsai attempted to muffle the howls of righteous indignation via social media, posting an “explanation” on the Internet. That didn’t go well. [Click here to read Tsai’s first go and TTAG writer and gun guru Rob Pincus’ response.] Minutes ago, the editor of RECOIL magazine published a formal apology for the article on RECOIL’s Facebook page. Make the jump for the new text in full…

I’d like to address the comments regarding what I wrote in the MP7A1 article in RECOIL issue 4. First and foremost, I’d like to apologize for any offense that I have caused with the article. With the benefit of hindsight, I now understand the outrage, and I am greatly saddened that it was initiated by my words. Especially since, I am an unwavering supporter of 2nd Amendment Rights. I’ve chosen to spend a significant part of both my personnel and professional life immersed in this enthusiasm, so to have my support of individuals’ rights called into doubt is extremely unfortunate. With that said, I retract what I wrote in the offending paragraph within this article. It should have had been presented with more clarity.

In the article, I stated some information that was passed on to me about why the gun is not available for civilian purchase. By no means did I intend to imply that civilians are not responsible, nor do we lack the judgment to own such weapons, if I believed anything approaching this, clearly I would lead a much different life. I also mentioned in the article that the gun had no sporting purpose. This again, was information passed on to me and reported in the article without the necessary additional context. I believe everything published in RECOIL up to this point (other than this story), demonstrates we clearly understand and completely agree that guns do not need to have a sporting purpose in order for them to be rightfully available to civilians. In retrospect, I should have presented this information in a clearer manner. Although I can understand the manufacturer’s stance on the subject, it doesn’t mean that I agree with it.

Again, I acknowledge the mistakes I made and for them I am truly sorry.

Jerry Tsai

I’m  forgiving kind of guy. I believe that people deserve a second chance, and possibly even a third or fourth if they realize the error of their ways and have found their way back onto the straight and narrow. So personally, I’m tempted to take his apology at face value and keep moving. Some of the Facebook comments on his apology, however, don’t seem to share my sentiments.

Brett writes:

To late we know how you really feel. What’s done is done. I will never buy a RECOIL magazine.

Anthony writes:

You’re an editor. It’s your job to ensure that the articles in your publication have the “necessary additional context”. Do you not research your articles, or do they all depend on “information that was passed on to me”? I guess that the threat of losing readers and advertising dollars brought you around, huh? Too bad that we’ve all seen your true colors and what a piss poor editor you actually are.

Tyler (not ours) said:

We are in the fight of our lives to keep what is left of our Second Amendment rights. As the editor of a gun magazine that relys so heavily on military style weapons you should know better than to regurgitate the catch phrases the anti gun crowd constantly spouts. I do question your commitment to the second amendment based on nothing else than what you said, in print and your poor attempt to make us civvies better understand your statements. Your statements will likely forever be used against us by the likes of Brady, Bloomberg, Rebeca Peters and the rest. Trust is hard earned and easily lost, I hope for the best for you and your magazine, we can live without purchasing it but I don’t think your magazine will live without us.

Like I said, I’m all for chalking this one up to a new publication having some shaky first steps. Heck, even TTAG had (and still has) some teething issues. No one is perfect, and everyone deserves the opportunity to recover from a stumble. Plus, competition in the firearms media is always a good thing and not only keeps us on our toes but brings out the best stuff for you, the readers.

But at the same time, as we now know that the magazine might be funded by a Democratic party supporter and activist, we’ll be keeping an eye on RECOIL.

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  1. **** ’em. I just read the Readers Recoil from RECOIL Magazine post again and there’s no way he’s seen the light and done a 180 overnight.

    Plus he gets basic facts about the gun wrong anyway. Pocket sized? What? The hell is going on over there?

  2. you can keep an eye on recoil magazine if you wish. this misstep has cost them any support they might have gotten from me. and if they’re funded by someone connected to the dems it’s just a matter of time before they spout more drivel.

  3. Does.Not.Pass.Smell.Test.

    The article blatantly stated the MP7 isn’t a suitable arm for civilian use.The author could have been Diane Feinstein herself and we’d have not known the difference.

    This apology is borne of financial desperation.If the Editors job wasn’t on the line we’d have gotten the same sorry excuse of “we made a mistake” ABC said when they were similarly caught red handed pushing an agenda w/editing the Zimmermann 911 tapes.

  4. I don’t see an apology anywhere in the editors statements. What I see is an attempt to blame HK for his own editorial comments. Yes, HK needs to be called to task for their anti-2nd position as well, but the editor isn’t helping his case by pretending his comments were the result of “bad information”.

    It’s insulting. Instead of trying to pass the buck he should have owned his comments and taken his lumps.

    • This is the kind of incident that can turn an election once the Red Staters hear that a Clinton Operative is connected to an anti-gun, gun mag editor it can increase voter turn-out. It can also elevate our lowly TTAGers status in the Blogosphere and Pro-2nd A. Movement

  5. There’s a good chance that his apology is born out of financial threat and job security.

    There’s a possibility that the apology is sincere and it is as he said in the formal apology. There’s also the possibility of the magazine being funded by anti-guns and that it will definitely show sooner or later. Some feel this has already happened. IF the apology is real, future issues will show it. If not, they will show it as it really is (again.)

    This is strike 1… 3rd one will be irrevocably unrecoverable.

    • He only appologised for his “Lack of Clarity” and that he hurt our “Feelings”. The man is pulling the same BS as the elitest networks.
      If he has supported the 2nd A. in the past let him prove it.
      Reguardless he has failed as an editor and revealed his true self and anti-gun bias, no, bigotry.
      If he wants to prove himself he should release his curricula vita and his University Thesis

  6. The Publisher would do well to remove this gent and replace him not only with someone who had a better perspective, but mostly.,…someone from the gun culture. Its the one thing this rag lacks. Moore of a mall ninja kinda thing right now.

    • If the editor is actually Contrite he can prove it by releasing his Collage Thesis, Curricula Vitae and making a large donation to the Pro-2A. lobby group of his (MY) choice.
      But the disturbing bit is how he apologized for not being Clear Enough.
      I have heard that phrase used by Leftists in the preceding year. What this man is implying is that he should have used single syllable words and a larger font for that paragraph so that his readership would more easily have grasped his propaganda

    • The Publisher would actually do well by not affiliating themselves with a “Democratic Party Supporter and Activist” either. That’s already bad news in itself. We’re already in the fight of our lives to save our 2nd Ammendment and RIGHTS all in all against the Dem Party, especially certain anti-gun leaders.

  7. I dont know what I find more distributing, saying a particular SBR isnt suitable for civilian use, or failing to stand by what you say in the interest of profit.

    I’m still wondering why they you say such a thing, you would think a majority of their reader base is call of duty gamer types/mall ninjas.

    Also why is the fire selector on that MP7 on full auto if it is slung behind his back? Wouldn’t you want it on safe? And is that office casual attire appropriate for war?

  8. Tsai doesn’t get it. His failing as a gun writer is rooted in his belief system, not in an inability to clearly convey his thoughts. He’s taken aback by his audience’s outrage and his apology is merely pandering. Deep down, he’s just not on the same side as those of us who believe the 2nd amendment guarantees more than permission to plink.

    • Pandering is an excellent word for this newest “clear explanation” by Jerry. Im normally all for forgiveness, but as one of the facebook comments suggested, this is an absolute godsend for the antis. A gun rag that is promoting their self-righteous “civilians cant be trusted with ‘assault weapons'” propaganda is no friend of the gun community. Pretty soon that will just evolve to civilians cant be trusted with weapons. We cant give them an inch, or they will take a mile.

      Jerry realized that he showed a little too much of his inner feelings in that post, and quickly moved to damage control, passing the buck, etc. Typical anti moves. This supporter of individual rights isnt buying it. IF Recoil wants to have any chance to succeed in the gun community, they need to find a new editor stat. The old one smells too much like an anti. Like they say, with friends like these…

  9. I am of two minds on the whole NFA machine gun issue. On the one hand i realize the the importance of 2a as a bulwark against those who wish to controll the populace by force. There is a need for fully auto weapons in the hands of potential patriots. I also recognise that civilian held machine guns could possibly pose an equally great threat to the populace at large. Machine guns are exspensive and far from being affordable for the every day 9-5’er, however they aren’t too expensive for drug dealers and criminal gangs. Squareing these two concepts within the context of 2a and the concept of doing the greatest good for the largest amoynt of people is no small task. I dissagree with how the editir put the debate into his magazine, but I tend to agree with part if his statement. Perhaps machine guns are ro great a eesponsibility for the Americans as a whole. I tend to think that I am reaponsible enough to own one, most of my friends and range buddies are as well, but could Holmes, or laughtner, or the stick-up kids in the ghettos handle those firearms responsibly? Perhaps this is like pandoras box, once you unleash it, you can’t put it right.

    • Wow, and another one shows their true colors.
      The ONLY reason MGs are expensive is the Hughes Amendment. The same class war that was started with the $200 NFA tax (a LOT of money in 1934).
      Gun control isn’t about the guns, IT’S ABOUT CONTROL.
      There were very few crimes being committed with full auto guns before Hughes.
      I am for liberty and personal freedom. What was that Ben Franklin quote about those who would sacrifice liberty for safety losing both and deserving neither?
      Who cares if Holmes had a select-fire M-16?
      You think he could have done any more damage? Would his beta mag not have jammed? BS.
      Just curious–are you a member of Calguns? The conciliatory anti-Liberty stuff you post sounds like a lot of the stuff I see on that board, when I can stomach reading it for 5 minutes. Just wondering.

    • Just because something “is a potential threat” doesn’t mean it’s for certain going to come to fruition. People who commit crimes of all kinds do so out of conscious choice. The only way to prevent conscious choice is through total enslavement of the population. Quite frankly, I’d rather not be a slave to the government. We live in a nation based on the tenants of personal responsibility bonded solely to the actions of the individual.

      Does the hypothetical situation that some nut job with a full auto Mac-10 may harm innocents somewhere somehow at some time mean that my legal purchasing of an MG42 should be hindered “to prevent tragedy”? Of course not. What people need to understand is the nature of evil. You can not stop or prevent evil without infringing upon the individual rights of others; you can only delay it as long as possible and hope nobody gets hurt.

    • Ooh, I didn’t see that earlier–you even threw in a “greater good” comment–that’s straight from the pen of Karl Marx.
      Just thought you’d want to know.

      • Derek it’s funny you mentioned Cal-guns. I’ve never visited the forum once, but just reading the name alone makes me think of the all the contradictory BS that must be discussed over there.

      • Actually it’s not, it’s straight from the pen of Jeremy Benthan in 1780. Marx disagreed with Bentham over Utiliterianism. Just thought you should know. Perhaps you should work on your history.

    • You are dead wrong.

      All “LE ONLY/MILITARY” sales restrictions do is ensure that only the bad guys get the deadly class III hardware. Not every cop employed in this country is an honest one, and when they sell guns out of the public armory the damage is typically permanent. Even when the scumbag in the department is investigated and jailed, the guns they’ve sold usually stay on the black market for good until they’re recovered in a crime-maybe. The same thing applies to military also.

      If the bad guys want full auto, that’s exactly what they’ll get NFA be damned. We need to quit pretending that gang bangers give a rats about gun laws, and start giving Joe Family Man access to the same hardware as Joe Vato Banger.

    • There has been ONE legal full auto gun used in a crime in the last 30 years, and that was committed by a cop.

      If someone wants full auto fire, the Slide Fire stocks for AR and AK rifles produce a pretty convincing alternative. Yet I don’t think anyone is abusing those, either.

      Pretty elitist attitude of you, man. “Oh, I’M responsible, and my friends are, but those OTHER people….”.

      • So what you are suggesting is that since Machines guns have been registered and controlled, and new machines made illegal for public purchase there have been almost no crimes committed with them? You do realize that this is not a great argument for repealing those laws right?

        And you are misquoting the figure, there have been two murders committed by registered legal owners of machines guns since the 1986 amendment. in 1997 around 2% of inmates that were convicted of crimes (approximately 4,000) carried an illegal automatic weapon. Notable cases include the Branch Davidians and the North Hollywood Shootout.

        • Koresh had a hellfire and showed it to the police, but according to the FBI 2 AR 15 lowerd had been modifies along with about 40 other weapons to fire in full auto.

      • And to be clear you are suggesting that two active shooters and an entire class of armed felons should have access to fully automatic weapons as well as people like them correct?

        • The NFA laws don’t prevent or deter anything. The reason most criminals don’t care about converting guns to full auto is that the majority of them use concealable pistols to commit crimes. Usually crappy ones, at that.

          So, once again, mala prohibita laws only stop people who care about following them from exercising their rights responsibly.

  10. This kind of foolishness is exactly why I don’t buy and/or read gun rags. They are replete with bad and inaccurate information. I get more facts off sites like TTAG and gun forums.

  11. It takes a lot more for something to make it into print than onto a web page. If what is published is not being reviewed more than one by one person that in itself is troubling.

    I suggest Mr. Tsai convene a review committee for articles in the future who at least share his respect for the 2A and in some cases exceed it.

  12. I’m with GS6050G.
    Publishing a “high quality” magazine takes a lot of steps and there should always be plenty of review in the process. This was not a “gaffe”, it was a Freudian slip that showed some true colors.

  13. Nope, no recovering from that. I would forgive a gaffe. This was not that. This was a clear position that is against our interests. We have far too much to fight against already to be worrying about those who are supposed to be on our side undermining us as well.

  14. The question I have is this: has he purged the notion of “no sporting applications to speak of.” from his head. Target shooting is hard. Mastering one firearm is hard. Mastering many is harder still. I liken shooting with different types of firearms to playing golf on different courses. Just a way of throwing some extra challenge into a perfectly legitimate sport.

  15. Especially since, I am an unwavering supporter of 2nd Amendment Rights.

    Cool story, bro. So am I. Only.. I’ve never said, suggested, implied or thought any such nonsense, and I’m not an editor for a magazine that professes to support private firearm ownership. One suspects, as such, that your idea of “2nd Amendment Rights” is considerably different than mine– as mine includes machine guns.

    Funny thing about one’s true colors– people tend to notice them.

  16. Nobody needs a car that can go 180mph. Only a professional race car driver can be trusted with such a vehicle on a closed course. Therefore, they should be the only people eligible to buy a car that isn’t governed to 65mph.

    His statements amount to siding with the thought police. If people have the capability to do something bad, then they won’t be able to help themselves!

  17. The guys is apologizing why not cut him some slack and see how the writing is in future issues?? If he says that he supports the 2A I think we should believe him.

    • “If he says that he supports the 2A I think we should believe him.”

      Once a statement has created significant backlash for the individual and/or entity that made the original statement, any follow up statements are nothing more than damage control and have virtually nothing to do with what their beliefs actually are. He likely felt more free to express his opinion when the article was originally published, and many of us don’t care for what came across.

    • Agreed.

      As others have noted, I think he was repeating without careful context the marketing-mumbo jumbo that H&K officially puts out as their rationale for not selling a civilian. He should have been more clear about that.

      I guess folks these aren’t the forgive and forget type… how unfortunate. You’d think us 2A folks would welcome more firearms-related publications, not less.

  18. I didn’t like his initial attitude, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. The attitude that LEOs and military deseve better toys than John Q. Public is not easily changed. When I first started commenting on TTAG, I did not realize the full extent of the benefits of civilian gun ownership. The media is not exactly ablaze with stories of 2A related happy endings. Sure, this editor will lose business, and rightly so. I believe that he is still a 2A supporter, but clearly has made some mistakes. I see great value in a measure of forgiveness. Isn’t one of our goals to be more reasonable than the antis?

    I thought I was a hard core 2A supporter, but still did support gun rights to my current extent until TTAG and commenters here helped to educate me.

    I say he has worked in the firearms industry for a long time, and deserves at least a second chance to regain our trust. More power to him if he can be pro-2A even though his magazine is funded by liberal sources.

  19. A more thoughtful statement would have been something like they don’t plan on making a civilian version of this gun at this time and leave it at that. I think most of us get the whole class III thing but going on about how civilians don’t need this type of weapon is rubbish.
    The tone taken was anti what many feel which is as an unregulated militia we should have a right to anything the military has. Sure not everyone agrees with this but you alianate a portion of your readership when you take the tone they did.

  20. Can I just say, off-topic, that it irritates the shit out of me that this “Editor” of a glossy gun mag has a such a horrible command of grammar? The letter he wrote above is full of sentence fragments, run-on sentences, and just flat out incorrect usage of the comma (i.e. inserting one where it isn’t necessary). I put more care into the grammar of my comments here than he did in his “formal apology” posted to his company’s Facebook page.

    Some people will say, “It’s a posting on Facebook. Nobody tries hard on Facebook.” To that I have two answers: first, I’m initially inclined to say that “the medium is the message” and nobody takes Facebook seriously, so why would you do anything important there? But these are modern times, and Facebook is by far the fastest way for him to disseminate his apology. Waiting for next month’s issue is not really an option. So, fine, that leads me to my second point: If it’s a professional communication. Treat it like one. Ensure the grammar is correct. Writings like this, that are full of errors, grate on my nerves and degrade my opinion of what you’re saying. If you take so little care with the correctness of your grammar (especially with the title of Editor, you should be a paragon of virtue on the subject), how am I to trust in the correctness of your facts?

  21. The alarming part of the comment isn’t that the MP7 has no role in civilian hands (a stupid comment due to the sale of P90s and SBR P90s to civilians, but we’ll ignore that for the time being). The alarming part is the claim that the 2nd Amendment’s goal is to protect weapons with primarily “sporting purposes” and that killing “bad” guys isn’t a legitimate reason for gun ownership. Put another way – concealed carry, home defense, personal protection – RECOIL doesn’t think these are legitimate reasons for citizens to own guns.


  22. This isn’t a person who made an error. Businesses aren’t owed forgiveness. They have to demonstrate their genuine reformation before I’ll consider giving them my money again. A major donation to Second Amendment causes would be a good step in the right direction.

  23. 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.

    He still hasn’t actually retracted that statement in his worthless letter, and he hasn’t because he doesn’t believe his apology/explanation. If he really wanted to retract it, he’d say “there is no good reason why this shouldn’t be available to civilians. We all know that’s technology that every law-abiding civvy should be able to lay his or her hands on.”

    But I do believe it’s too late since the original article is not just a misstatement of facts or a clumsily worded phrase with ambiguous meaning. It’s an insight into the way Tsai truly thinks. And retracting an article doesn’t make me think his whole neural wiring was suddenly changed. Instead, he’ll say anything he has to to sell his rag.

    Not buying it! (his excuse or his rag).

    • Some one needs to find and preserve every word this stinker ever printed before it is scrubbed out of existance. I do not have those skills

      • Well, I assume the original article is in print. Recoil magazine #4. Quick, it’ll probably be the last issue. Get it while its hot.

        The two “apologies” are on the Recoil facebook page. Even if they delete them you can get archived copies of them I think.

      • This morning there were something like 250 comments on his newest “apology”. Currently sitting at 850. Couple sponsors already issued statements pulling their ads too.

        • His next article should bear the title “How to Alienate Your Readers, Annoy Your Sponsors and Totally Fvck Yourself Out Of A Job In One Easy Gun Review”.

        • This is why Tyrants HATE Free Economies. Dollars are like votes, with the poor house being the next work venue.

  24. Of course HK would make the military/ LE comment. This a very Germany way of looking at firearms. I live and owned firearms in Germany and if you don’t have a hunting license or are not a member of a shooting club then no gun (they still give the sports shooters a hard time, luckily I hunted). Europeans have always restricted firearms based on social class, usage, type, etc, that being said a European view on firearms had no place in a US publication in 1776 and it still doesn’t in 2012 and those who actual support the 2nd amendment know this. The editor blaming HK for his ‘slip’ doesn’t pass the sniff test.

    • I think you’re painting with too broad a brush. FN is Belgian, Beretta is Italian, Glock is Austrian. Those companies have no problems selling to the civilian market. It’s HK that has the attitude problem, and they really need a slap down, in my opinion. The NRA should be doing to them what they did to S&W in the ’90s.

  25. Wow! My first thought when I heard about this was, “This guy sounds like a gun grabbing liberal. What a clever idea to fight gun ownership- start a gun magazine and then start trashing civilian gun ownership”. It really does give liberals very useful “anti-gun” ammunition. (pun totally intended).

    It now makes sense that it’s suspected to be owned by a dummycrat and activist!

  26. When I first saw the magazine at the grocery store I was intrigued. RECOIL.
    I wasn’t to impressed with the what I saw inside. I can’t place my finger on what bothered me about it. IDK maybe it was to flashy or over the top. Maybe too much reality tv.

  27. It’s not just his carelessness with his 2A verbiage, it is also about his other language. Displaying an “us vs. them”mentality;”LE”, “civies”. I’m offended that he calls me a “civie” like I’m somehow less than/and separate from, the “only ones” as Codrea references, this editor feels special cause he is allowed “in”. Then he condescends to his readers. I’m repulsed by the attitude and frankly, tired of it. RECOIL will not get an opportunity to insult me even one more time.


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