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More than a few TTAG commentators have taken umbrage of our continued coverage of the Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms Illinois gun dealer carve-out, and the companies’ financial contributions to virulently anti-gun politicians.

After today’s post on a successful lawsuit against Remington, commentator C.S. wrote “Seems like we don’t need anti-gunners to put gun companies out of business, the potg [People of the Gun] are doing a good enough job.”

I’m sorry, but that’s ridiculous.

Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms must be defended against all enemies. That’s a long list, including the mainstream media, gun writers, politicians, voters, gun control groups, doctors, lawyers, Moms and, in rare cases, gun manufacturers.

We must expose, oppose and confront these individuals and groups wherever and whenever they put our gun rights in danger.

Our first weapon, our best weapon, is the truth. Because the facts don’t support gun control. Our second weapon is the cold light of day. It’s not enough to know the truth about gun rights, the truth must breathe the oxygen of publicity. So that it gets to both the gun rights faithful and firearms freedom fence straddlers.

Should TTAG consider the negative impact of our stories on individuals and companies when exposing anti-gun entities?

Certainly. We understand full well the effect of our coverage on the hard-working, Second Amendment-supporting, blameless workers at Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms. Same for Remington, a company we’ve grown to respect as it works hard to repair the damage triggered by its assimilation into what was once called The Freedom Group.

I feel for the innocent individuals and gun companies who suffer because of our posts. But we didn’t create the stories. We reported them. More than that, above all and everything else, our first responsibility was, is and will be to our readers.

The TTAG brand is nothing more or less than a promise to our readers to tell the truth about guns and, by extension, gun rights. I created this brand. I am its foremost guardian. But I don’t own it. You do. It exists in your mind.

If I allow TTAG to betray this promise, whether by a sin or commission or omission, I will destroy your trust. I will destroy the brand. I don’t work seven days a week, 52 weeks a year to see that happen.

TTAG’s underlying credo: publish and be damned. With 12 to 14 posts a day, there are (and will be) times when we get it wrong. When we do so we admit our mistake and publish a retraction (it has happened).

But I don’t consider our posts about the Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms debacle and the Remington lawsuit a mistake. We will stay on these and other similar stories as long as there are new developments. Count on it.

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    • Roger that FeHead.

      Sitting quietly on the sideline will not help the cause. We keep the gun makers in business and what they do with our money is our business.

      Support is a two way street.

    • Indeed. What Springfield and Rock River Arms did to their customers and Illinois dealers is pure sleeze. And the owner’s self-serving lamentations on being found out only serve to make things worse. Keep speaing truth to power, Robert.

  1. Good reply to Whiny TDI and others whose “feels” are hurt by this story.

    Love how they deflect with the “…I bet Glock/Sig/../.. do it too!”, yet who’s the center of this shitstorm? SA an RRA that’s who

  2. Non Sequitur

    I know that TTAG strives to be objective and fair in reviews of firearms and I think I remember reading why there arent manufacturer ads up on the site. I know that its a pet peeve of many TTAG readers that the gun magazine press caters to the sponsors. I personally have enough faith in TTAGs staff to feel that they would give unbiased reviews, even to products from companies who sponsor the site. I think its time that TTAG looks on accepting some revenue from gun manufacturers so you all can do away with the ads currently on the site. TTAG is a site that pops up when many gun things are googled, and it kind of takes away from the credibility to a new reader or someone on the fence about gun rights when they go here and see weird trick, toe fungus, male enhancement and clickbait ads. I understand you all need revenue to keep the site running. I get it. But would it perhaps be in the best interest of TTAG to look to gun manufacturers for sponsorship?

    • Taking money from gun manufacturers compromises the integrity of product reviews. Thank you for not accepting it. When you start accepting ad money you become another of the many shill web sites out there that act like they’re reviewing a product when actually they’re doing a commercial for it.

    • Maybe you’ve missed the ads here from FN, GLOCK, Beretta, Savage, Wilson Combat, STI and yes, Springfield. Those companies and many more support this site with their advertising.

      Those are display ads. We except no money for reviews and never will.

      • I think you mean you ACCEPT no money for reviews…

        If anything, your coverage of a company (Springfield) that’s given you ad dollars should go a long way towards showing your efforts to provide unbiased writing. I don’t think it’s possible (or desirable!) to purge all bias, but I’m reasonably sure that you’re​ not in the pockets of those “evil gun companies.”

      • I’m not suggesting you accept money for reviews. What I am suggesting is that the toenail fungus the “my dad banged 67 girls with this one weird trick” ads undermine what TTAG is setting out to accomplish. I respect the work you all do and think you are a great information resource. The ads don’t personally really bother ME any. But what I am concerned about is those newer to guns, or to 2A rights coming here and dismissing the site and the good message it is trying to deliver based on the ads.

        Like I said, you gotta pay the bills. I get it. I am just curious as to if there is another way to give the site a more professional appearance.

        • “my dad banged 67 girls with this one weird trick”

          Don’t leave us hanging, man.

        • If they’re gonna dismiss the site it’s going to be because of Ralph’s comments or jackasses like me.

          AdBlock+ and Ghostery and you’ll never even see the ads. You can just read the story and skip straight to the enlightened commentary.

        • Good luck on your quest, Don Quixote. There are a lot of us who have been raising the same arguments (that the credibility of the site is hurt by trashy clickbait [and sometimes malware-laden] ads) for years. Our success has been, shall we say, limited.

  3. That’s the beauty of a free market. If one or more companies screw the pooch, others will come along to take their place. When RRA and SA file for bankruptcy, their market share will be quickly scooped up by others. The worst thing we could do is continue to support companies that compromise our values. When we do this, we take away the one stick we have to keep large companies in line. After all, SA doesn’t care that Illinois gun owners will be rationed to 9 guns a year so long as it keeps potential competitors out of the market and gives them the ability to corner the market in their state.

    A good example is the manufacturer exception to the Illinois regulations. That exception only applies to companies already holding a manufacturing license. It effectively makes it impossible to set up a new manufacturing company in Illinois without massive overhead.

  4. They belong in bankruptcy. These stories may well prove to be the most important TTAG ever publishes. Hopefully, their demise will serve as a cautionary tale for other future would be sell outs.

  5. Keep up the coverage!!! Most other “gun” websites have their heads in the sand and have said NOTHING. They are either afraid their freebies will dry up or they really don’t care about gun owners, only clicks. Just because we’re POTG doesn’t mean we will blindly follow manufacturers off the cliff.
    How will SAI/RRA sell their product if the people in their state can’t buy them?

  6. Just because we don’t want fake “products liability” to be used by anti-gun freaks to ruin the firearms industry doesn’t meant that there are not real products liability lawsuits with real merit against firearms makers who f*ck up and the result is a hurt customer or user.

  7. I don’t expect gun makers to be in the gun rights business. I expect them to be in the gun selling business. I therefore proceed accordingly. This is why this stuff doesn’t bother me. I’ve noticed my understanding of Capitalism seems to put me on the fringes around here. I just don’t get emotional about Capitalism, as it’s working as designed. Gun makers gotta bribe politicians. The problem is not SA or RRA. The problem is Democrats, specifically the ones who run Illinois in this case. That’s where I direct my energy. Gun owners who are Democrats are no friends of mine. Nor are NeverTrumper RINOS.

    • If you think gun makers bribing politicians is some sort of sign that capitalism is alive and well then you’re much too dumb to engage in an actual argument.

      • Where business and politics meet there will always be some level of fuckery. The trick is to keep it to a minimum and that is not something the government has an interest in doing.

    • When I got my degree in economics and business, I apparently understood Capitalism differently than you do. Gun manufacturers are not in the gun rights business but they are in the customer retention and customer acquiring business. Their customers are gun owners and gun users. If they don’t protect gun rights, they don’t protect customers. The lack of customers runs them out of business the same as if they are put out of business by the government.

      • Your desired/fantasy business model is different than SA and RRA’s actual business model. Which is fine. It’s their money and your money. Capitalism will sort it out. Why so much drama?

        • Not really. SA’s business model is selling guns to consumers. Supporting a government limit on gun sales to said consumers is pretty counterintuitive to that model. At that point, like the hooker story, its accepted that you’re a hooker and now we’re just negotiating on the number. This doesn’t even take into account public hate for supporting. Both sides hurt their model, and it was a terrible decision that they will pay for.

        • You are showing a common misconception of what exactly is the core of capitalism. It is making a profit. Everything else revolves around that simple principle. Each company chooses a business plan to pursue that objective.

        • But how can capitalism sort it out if it isn’t reported and discussed? The “drama” is sort of necessary to the process of sorting it out, isn’t it?

          Capitalism only works if everything is done out in the open, and consumers can make fully informed decisions.

        • Good point Stinkeye. I am referring to all the butt-hurt-ed-ness of the POTG. Like a girlfriend cheated on them. Take Target and Starbucks. I don’t patronize them due to their liberal bullshit. I’m also not filling up the internets with whining about them. In other words, act like grown ass adults and not the whiny SJW Millenials.

        • Then we agree, for the most part. I have tried to confine most of my criticism to the business aspects of these decisions (summary: unfathomably stupid) rather than the emotional. As someone who grew up in Illinois and who has family there who will be affected by the bill, I understand the attraction to taking it as a personal affront. But as a rational person, I know it was just a series of really stupid business decisions made by people who either don’t understand their customer base and the market they’re in, or didn’t know that the internet is a thing in 2017. I’m not sure which option indicates lower intelligence.

          The market will sort it out, and that sorting is probably going to be very painful for RRA and SA.

    • The preferred outcome and objective goal of capitalism is free market competition. The four principles of free market competition are
      1. Full knowledge of buyer and seller
      2 . Many buyers and sellers within the market space
      3. Ease of entry and exit into the market space
      4. The market space is a price takers market

      In this instance TTAG has been the best source of information to fulfill the first principle listed above regarding the SA RRA debacle. Capitalism does not require the lining of pockets of crooked politicians, that’s crony capitalism and is in direct conflict with the first principle of free market competition making it an enemy of true capitalism, and why companies often get hit financially when those crooked dealings come to light and the markets react accordingly. Only through the truth can we make informed decisions and live in a truly free market.

      If SA’s and RRA’s sell out does not bother you, that is your choice to make in a free economy, but the important thing is that you were able to make that discernment for yourself with the knowledge of their dealings and not allow a media gatekeeper make that choice for you by withholding that information, usually for their own monetary gain. Thanks RF and John Bosh for doing your part in upholding your, and my, free market principles.

      To those of you who disagree with my interpretation of capitalism and free markets all I can say is the Chicago school is the only school, haha.

      • Thanks TW for the concise outline.

        Not having an MBA, I tend to boil the academic complexities down to something simple I can understand. Which is certain decent percentage of companies participating in capitalism will do whatever they think can get away with to achieve and maximize the end goal: profit. That’s why I’m not surprised or emotional about these SA and RRA revelation

    • “This is why this stuff doesn’t bother me. I’ve noticed my understanding of Capitalism seems to put me on the fringes around here.”

      This kind of “rent seeking” is the antithesis of free market capitalism because it seeks to monopolize a marketplace by reducing competition. It necessitates a kind of collusion between government and business that is a short step away from outright fascism. The authoritarianism and totalitarianism associated with fascism is a result of government/business interests in protecting their market domination. What’s happening in Illinois ain’t capitalism

      • Fair enough. I will rephrase:

        My understanding of the present day, real life version of American Capitalism.

  8. It’s capitalism, yo. I personally didn’t see where the Remington story bashed Remington or did anything other than report on the court case. But it is absurd to think that the PoTG must coddle and fawn over every manufacturer.

    We appreciate companies that make effective, reliable firearms. We respect innovative designs and “cool” factor. We like to see competition in the market. If you collude to stifle competition, if you make a shoddy or dangerous product, or if you simply fail to stand out from the rest, we will vote with our wallets. That’s the way of the world. The firearms industry owes it to us to make good products. We owe them nothing but to buy those good products if and when we see fit.

  9. As long as TTAG tells the truth to the best of it’s abilities, admits when it makes mistakes, and doesn’t “make” news I fail to see a problem.

    • Nope. The guy on the right gets the best hat there award. =)

      Maybe I shouldn’t ask this, but is RF’s hat on backwards?

      • I’m the guy on the right (the photo’s right), and my hat has a gun in it! So there 😛

        Also (JWT), that’s a photo from the NRA show, which was in April, so there’s no self-respecting-southerner issue with wearing a felt hat! Good day, sir.

    • No. Only the middle one is right. The one’s on the end are both felt hats worn after labor day. That is an abomination and a sin. God will punish them.

      • +1000. Anybody who would ruin a good felt hat by wearing it in the heat must be punished.

        Of course, wear a “drug store cowboy” felt hat outside on a 100F Texas day and the punishment is pretty much self executing . . . .

  10. How was a WIDELY publicized story about Remington anti-2A?!? Duh…once again THANK YOU TTAG and Boch for exposing the evil done by SA and RRA. If those quisling cretins sue you I will contribute to your defense.

    • In the context of the Remington story I think the comment in question was directed at the plaintiff, who it would seem sued Remington over the plaintiff’s own stupidity/incompetence/negligence, not TTAG.

      That’s what I got out of that specific comment/story.

      That comment however does kind of dovetail with recent arguments over the SA/RRA stories where some have argued that POTG are eating their own.

  11. Considering Remington has had serious product issues in the recent past I don’t see why anyone would be adamant about defending them. I don’t support us eating our own, but if a company makes a faulty product, or alienates its customers with political ties, that’s on them, and they must pay the consequences like any company. Just because they’re a gun company doesn’t make them special.

  12. TTAG coverage has been perfect, and I appreciate what you’ve done.

    Also, all those hats in the picture contain derringers, don’t they?

  13. I see a lot of parallels here between two of TTAG’s finest hours.

    Recall back when Remy introduced the R51 to a lot of fanfare, and seemingly all the dead tree gun rags (and some gun blogs) had fawning reviews of it. TTAG, on the other hand, tested it objectively, found it was horribly flawed, and published a scathing review.

    Chaos ensues. Remy personnel openly disparage TTAG, claiming that its reviewers were incompetent or worse. Mainstream gun writers huff at the suggestion that they were played by Remy, with some similarly throwing shade at the purportive motives of TTAG reviewers. Some gun blogs, perhaps more than a bit jealous of TTAG’s scoop, join in the criticism as well.

    And, as we all know, it turned out that TTAG had indeed published the cold, hard truth about the R51.

    Remy had to eventually recall it and admit that production models were terribly flawed. Even TTAG’s harshest critics had to grudgingly admit that TTAG was right and the legacy gun media got it very, very wrong.

    Fast forward to today. TTAG does some solid, impeccably sourced, investigative journalism revealing what is, at best, a very shady side of SA and RRA.

    Chaos ensues. RRA and SA issue a series of evolving statements on what happened and why, culminating with SA claiming that it somehow did not know what was going on with the lobbying entity it formed, funded, and controlled, and RRA bizarrely accusing TTAG of being an “activist” website. Some of the usual suspects dust off their insults and criticisms of TTAG (some of which sound to me like a lot of sour grapes at TTAG’s scoop).

    But what hasn’t been challenged is the cold, hard truth of the facts that TTAG reported on this story. And like the recall of the R51, I suspect that the eventual outcome of this story is going to be dictated by those facts, and not by the spin that some may try to put on them.

    As a wise man once said, facts are stubborn things. Bravo to TTAG for continuing to report them and let the chips fall where they may.

    • +1

      Newer readers would do well to go dig in the archives. Search TTAG R51 for a slew of stories on that debacle, and all the heat TTAG received for doing exactly what they said they would–tell the truth.

  14. In the alternate universe of some commenters, lying and cheating by SA, RRA and TFG has become a virtue, and truth-telling by TTAG is a vice.

    I must say, with all due respect, that anyone who can flip vice and virtue with such alacrity is nuts.

    • I don’t see lying and cheating as a virtue. I assume it’s standard operating procedure and allow myself to be pleasantly surprised when I am occasionally wrong.

      • I simply expect that the government in blue states will try to screw everyone associated with the firearms industry and I am not surprised when companies do what they legally can do to try to thwart those attempts to try to protect their bottom line. As I said above, whenever politics and business meet there will be fuckery. That’s a given.

        Sometimes the attempts by companies will go bad for whatever reason.

        Being a firearm company in a blue state is, IMHO, basically walking back and forth across a minefield. Keep doing that long enough and eventually, one way or another, you’re gonna lose some toes. RRA and SA are now finding this out.

        The smart option, which they didn’t take, would have been to simply leave the minefield before they stepped on something.

  15. A post about a 2 week old Yankee Marshall video is not a new development.

    A “rumor” that you’re going to get sued by SA seems like an odd “fact”to include in a story. More questionable when people start treating it as fact on social media.

  16. “TTAG’s underlying credo: publish and be damned. With 12 to 14 posts a day, there are (and will be) times when we get it wrong.”

    I’ve been meaning to ask about that…

    I’ve seen early TTAG posts around 2010 or so where RF has prided himself on hourly TTAG posts starting 9 AM EST to 9 PM. And for years, that was the case.

    Over the past 6 months or so (maybe longer, my short-term memory is shot), I have seen post count drop drastically to about 1/2 that number. (The past few weeks has been improved.)

    I *fully* realize post quality beats quantity and both RF and Dan have other irons in the fire for keeping their families fed and housed.

    I was just wondering what was up with that, if TTAG was downsizing.

    (Edit – TTAG’s practice of gun contests for article submissions is *brilliant*. The readers win with articles, the authors win a nice gun and by possibly launching a writing career, and TTAG wins with copy that costs a whole lot less than hiring pro writers. Everyone wins…)

  17. C.S. wrote “Seems like we don’t need anti-gunners to put gun companies out of business, the potg [People of the Gun] are doing a good enough job.”

    You know what else hurts our efforts to maintain our right to keep and bear arms? When manufacturers make defective equipment (such as those Remington triggers) that gun-grabbers can point to and say, “See, firearms are dangerous! We must ban them!”

  18. You guys work very hard at living up to your mission statement. You are overwhelmingly successful at this. And, yes, while your content draws the eyeballs, it is your readers and commenters that make this thing work.
    Carry on

  19. I think TTAG and John Boch are doing just fine in reporting a story about a couple of backstabbing, traitorous gun manufacturers that chose the greedy low road over the moral high road.

    As you might notice, I have refrained from expressing my true feelings about the Reese (SA) and Larson (RRA) turncoats of Illinois.

  20. As long as the caliber of the reporting doesn’t slide into advocacy (saying boycott this or that) it’s fine, it’s more than fine.

    I don’t think you did this with the TTAC GM death watch, but you get the point.

  21. That’s a long list, including the mainstream media, gun writers, politicians, voters, gun control groups, doctors, lawyers, Moms and, in rare cases, gun manufacturers….We must expose, oppose and confront these individuals and groups wherever and whenever they put our gun rights in danger.

    Interesting…..does that include Nick “your 2A rights (but not mine) end on the airport apron” Leghorn?

    I mean, fair is fair, right?

  22. I hope TTAG keeps up the good work of reporting and commenting on the incursions by anyone who would weaken our Second Amendment Rights, no matter who they might be. There are POTG who don’t care to get politically involved because they do not have the courage to protect what our fore fathers won by blood and I include all those who serve now. Those who don’t want to get involved, need to take a big long look at themselves and ask why they are cowards.

  23. I took my Springfield XDS 9mm to my local gun store for consignment sale the day after this story first broke on TTAG. Sold it at a great price and I’m taking delivery of a Glock 19 later this week. Thank You TTAG and Robert Farago for a great site. TTAG is my Go-To site for all things Gun.

  24. The journalistic reporting isn’t what’s gonna kill the TTAG brand. It’s the endless barrage of clickbait articles. I find myself skipping more and more “articles” just because the headlines irritate me with their baitiness. I used to click through to 80-90% of the articles. Now I read 5-10%. I’m sure readership is up though, so whatever brings in the money.

    • I’ve found that I’m reacting the same way to the site. The site redesign a while back (with the much-reduced lead-ins on the front page), and the general increase in clickbaitiness in recent months sets off my inner contrarian. It took me a while to figure out why I wasn’t reading as much TTAG, but I think you’ve nailed it. I guess years on the internet dealing with that sort of garbage elsewhere has built up a resistance to tolerating it. Kind of a “If you have to try to trick me into reading it, it must not be worth reading” subconscious reaction.

      It’s seems to be a natural progression with most websites. Once they get to a certain level of popularity, the costs of running them get pretty significant, and the measures taken to generate revenue reduce the appeal of the site. I wish more sites that I enjoy would try a subscription model, but people are such cheapasses that there’s always a wailing and gnashing of teeth whenever the subject is broached.

  25. About RF’s long list of anti-gunners. I don’t think that many within the GOPe (establishment) can be trusted either. The US Chamber of Commerce and now we see Illinois’ IRMA will routinely screw over small business so as to entrench the dominance of their big business supporters.

    It is an economic principle that it is very hard to create a dominant business, but much harder still to stay there for a long time, with creative and nimble upstarts nipping at your heals. What to do? Buy some politicians.

    The politicians want to stay entrenched in power as well, and engage in a vicious circle of payoffs and over-regulation in support of crony capitalism.

  26. First off full disclosure: I’m a long time TTAG reader and an employee at a supplier for both RRA and SA in their general vicinity in Illinois. Assuming you all succeed in your jihad to put them out of business my job will be generally unaffected, however my days will be much less interesting making tractor parts instead of gun parts. Now onto to the fun parts: I feel like TTAG’s coverage has been generally accurate, yet purposefully malicious in its portrayal of the situation. Did the IMFA F up hard? Absolutely 100%. Were RRA and SA purposefully complicit? on the surface it certainly looks that way, and TTAG has relentlessly pointed that fact out. What TTAG hasn’t done however, is given any credit to both companies contributions to the fight for gun rights over the years. The NRA gave Denny Reese the golden jacket for christs sake! RRA and SA are and have been two of the largest financial contributors to the fight for 2a rights in Illinois, and even the IMFA’s record is pretty solid considering exactly how much went into it ($1.5mil-ish over 15 years). And considering the literally hundreds of bills the IMFA has helped defeat in that time frame, it’s not that difficult to imagine that the lobbyist had earned himself a fairly long leash, enough so to F up without anybody but TTAG noticing.

    • That sounds like a newsworthy story. If you write it up, provide sources, and submit it to TTAG, I’ll bet they’d publish it.

    • Well that’s just special. Were they supporting Illinois when they greased the palms of Cullerton/Madigan?!? It’s Illinois Jake…it’s Illinois.

  27. I agree with TTAG only part of the time. On this occasion, I not only agree, I am grateful. In short, there is little doubt that SA and RRA were complicit in the treachery. At best, they were completely asleep at the switch on a matter of high importance to the gun world. Our “world” is under assault daily. There is no room for mistakes of this size.

    Until the two companies state how they’re going to make this up to their customers and the mom and pop shops of Illinois, I’ve taken my XDs out of the training inventory and will no longer recommend them. I am not going to sell my Springfields. That would indirectly benefit SA.

    Gary Walters
    GunIQ LLC

  28. I’m not shy about calling folks on the carpet, even TTAG itself, when appropriate.
    The coverage of the Illinois lobbying scandal, though, seems well balanced, relevant, and completely in line with the site’s mission and the readership’s interests.

    If anything, I’m outraged by the outrage. I really don’t see a problem with TTAG’s approach to this material thus far.

  29. This talk of capitalism and firearms appears to be misplaced. Firearms are the only product i can think of that the consumers purchase from the producers and then the producers encourage, expect, hope, that the consumers spend their time, energy and money to fight laws that would make the producers products illegal to buy or produce.

    Seems to me the people that have a dog in the fight, capitalism wise, are the producers. And if one of these producers betrays it’s customer base by dealing with the very folk that would see them out of business then the customer base has a right to do their best to put the producer out of business by not buying their product.

    As for how sausages get made. The meat producers are not asking me to spend my time, money or effort keeping their products legal.

  30. I thoght long and hard about commenting on this piece. I find it to be self serving BS.
    Posting a new article on a company selling out for a government contract is news. Posting a three week old YouTube video to keep the pot boiling smacks of a NYT style vendetta. Sorry, Mr. Farago but “Thou dost protest too much.”


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