An apology

We had a message sent to us by a British Serviceman, as well as comments posted on TFB in response to a article we published yesterday linking to a blog post on the subject of AR-180 rifles used by the IRA. The Serviceman complained that we should not cover guns used by terrorists, especially not on St Patricks day. I have published my response, and apology for that specific post, below …

Hi [name withheld], I both agree and disagree with you.

I disagree with you on the subject of covering guns used by terrorists. We do cover guns used by our enemies. We have even published an article written for us by a staff of the British MoD on the subject of the IRA Tommy Guns, which included many photos taken by MoD staff. (The MoD, as I am sure you are aware, has a vast collection of guns captured from terrorists and used for training, covert ops and study.)

Our view on guns is that they are neutral. Neither good nor evil. They are simply mechanical tools. We covered these tools, regardless of who made them, why they were made or who purchased them.

I agree that covering this gun on St Paddy’s day was not the best decision our writer (who is currently on sick leave) made. I now see how the post could be conceived as glorifying terrorists. I also agree, on reflection, that the images in that post were not appropriate and are against our policy on terrorist propaganda (unlike the mainstream media, we only publish terrorist propaganda photos when they have *significant* technical value).

If the post had been published on any other day I would have allowed it, but in this specific case I have removed the post and will post my apology on TFB. As Editor-in-Chief, I take sole responsibility for this post and apologize to you and the TFB community in general. This oversight was a lack of cultural understanding and sensitivity on my behalf.

Thank you for your service!

Kind regards,


The post has been removed.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Rich Guy

    “One mans terrorist…”

    Or does it go, “One man’s freedom fighter”?

    I always get so confused..

    • TGM

      Freedom fighters have to actually fight for freedom. An ideal which a great many terrorist organizations do not advocate or believe in.

      • sauerquint

        The Irish driving British colonialists out is of their country is indeed fighting for freedom.

        • Frank

          I’m american but of Irish descent, I’d agree with that. A lot of americans do. Why do you think George Harrison (not the guy in the beatles) got a slap on the wrist for running guns to the IRA? Part of it was the unconventional defense ran in that case though.

  • Joshua

    This almost sounds like a “You shouldn’t talk about them because they are bad mmmkayy”, Oh wait you said British…..

    • I posted this in reply to another comment as well:

      It was not that it offended someone, nor that the content should be censored, but that the timing of the post was in poor taste. In other words, I would not publish a post entitled “Afghan National Day: Lets talk about used by the Taliban”. We try and be classy here at TFB, and that simply was not.

      I take a lot of flak every single time I post about terrorist weapons or illegally made weapons, but our policy on this is clear, we talk about all guns, and I won’t ever apologize for that.

      • Phillip Cooper

        “We talk about guns, and I won’t apologize for that”….

        … in a thread where you’re apologizing for talking about guns.

        Just. Wow.

        • Jake

          I came here to write this. LOL @ irony.

        • Zebra Dun

          Apologizing to a bloke who lives in a total gun control Nation at that!

        • nadnerbus

          Reading comprehension. He apologized for a post that was ill timed, not the content.

      • David

        It’s your blog and you can do what you want with it, but I think you’re showing your loyalist tendencies Steve. Having been to N.I. several times, I find it quite rich that any British subject would call anyone from Northern Ireland ‘terrorists’. Who is the occupier? Who is the oppressor?

        I think you now owe the Irish an apology for sympathizing with British Imperial oppressors. Yes, I am serious. We have the luxury as Americans of have not been occupied by a military force, but the Irish do not have that luxury and have a very belligerent neighbor a few scant minutes away by jet.

        You should have left this alone and this close to St. Patrick’s day? Very, very poor taste expressing sympathy for a terrorist occupying military force.

        • Phillip Cooper

          ” We have the luxury as Americans of have not been occupied by a military force,”

          History was not your strong subject, was it?

          • Tom

            Shh don’t tell him the white man won.

      • John

        Ok, and now it’s after St. Patrick’s Day. When will the article be reposted?

      • SPECTRE R&D

        Please continue to take said flak. They are pertinent
        post and highly valued to some who find themselves downrange or uprange of such engineering.

      • dan citizen

        Thank you for tactfully dealing with such a hot button issue.

        You handled it as well as could be expected, there is no win win way out of this particular kerfuffle

      • nadnerbus

        If it makes you feel any better, I understand and support your decision.

        If your blog was called The Knife Blog, and decided to cover the various types of box cutters used on 9/11, people would probably say it was in poor taste, even if they are just inanimate objects.

        I don’t think you had any duty do pull the post, but I understand it.

      • Roderick Lalley

        PLEASE !!! Give me a break !!!

  • andrew

    I enjoyed the article, like most on this site. I’m sorry someone was offended by it, but also fail to see the problem.

    • It was not that it offended someone, but that the timing of the post was in poor taste. In other words, I would not publish a post entitled “Afghanistan National Day: Lets talk about used by the Taliban”.

      I take a lot of flak every single time I post about terrorist weapons or illegally made weapons, but our policy on this is clear, we talk about all guns, and I won’t ever apologize for that.

  • Lance

    Don’t matter one commentator describes them perfectly…. the slime of humanity, IRA= Scum.

    • DonDrapersAcidTrip

      did the ira ever vaporize civilian populations with atomic warfare? that doesn’t seem to ever stop people from crawling all over the nuts of the us military. this “my side has two feet higher moral ground than your side” crap when it comes to people in armed conflict seems like a load of nonsense

  • Dan

    Sorry, but I have to be an ass. Please do not cover guns in general on the anniversary of columbine, Aurora, or sandy hook. Please do not cover guns that may have been used by Nazis or their Allies on any day, because they used those weapons daily throughout the year. Please don’t do anything to offend me or I will write a letter guilting you into issuing an apology and removing a post about an inanimate object that doesn’t care if you’re IRA or one of the British backed “Defense” forces. Boo freaking hoo. And please no British Guns or American Guns on the 4th of July I include American because it might offend some Brit that the American Terroists ousted them. Please stop offending people.

    • Joshua

      Don’t forget handguns, can’t cover those because they kill 10,000 people a year in the USA.

    • Paul White

      Please don’t cover guns I can’t afford, being reminded of my budget constraitns offends me 😛

      • FightFireJay


        But the timing wasn’t the best.

        • Squirreltakular


      • st4

        *Barrett M107*

      • Mystick

        Cheytac M200 Intervention.

        • G0rdon_Fr33man


      • AK™

        Cabot matched 1911s

        • Roderick Lalley

          You are mean !!!

    • Phillip Cooper

      Concur completely.

      Folks, you DO NOT have a right to not be offended.

    • spotr

      Satire! – Dan, I am offended by your response on this joyous occasion right before the first days of spring (March 20th)! Only cheerful, positive, happy, warm weather type responses can be used in websites. How dare you not realize this stark fact! I have contacted the moderators and demanded that they remove your comment immediately.

      • Dan

        I am offended by you being offended by me. I take further offense to the notion of warm weather as it is still very cool here. Please delete your post and issue me an apology

    • billyoblivion

      Why are you sorry you have to be an ass?

      Revel in it. Be the *BEST* ass you can be.

  • HM

    It was a good article and did not need to be pulled. There was no glorification of the IRA

  • Didn’t we win the freedom to run roughshod over the feelings of British servicemen in 1776?

    • No. Americans didn’t “win” until 1783.

      • sauerquint

        They don’t do free speech in the UK, they will actually prosecute people for exercising their rights.

        They can take their ‘I’m offended’ nonsense and get in line with the rest of the easily offended types.

      • My mistake, we apologized for every rebellious military action profusely up until 1783.

      • William Wallace

        Apparently, Americans still haven’t won and we continue to bow in consent to our former occupiers.

  • DZ

    In all honesty a firearm is a tool, it does not have a mind of its own, emotions, or political leanings.

    Firearms do not choose their owners, nor how they use them.

    Also history is history, you cannot undo it, and running from it will accomplish nothing. Respect the dead, but do not let them be forgotten.

    Do not blame the gun.

    • Dan

      The actually do have political leanings, then tend to favor Green Party Candidates believe it or not.

  • mosinman

    i cant say i agree with this, I didn’t feel it was promoting terrorism or glorifying the IRA.

    • sauerquint

      I thought it was handled very respectfully, but ‘taking offense’ has become a pass time with some people. We should do nothing to accommodate them.

      • mosinman

        Indeed, especially the British with the “sterling” reputation of their empire

        • Especially the British? What is this, have a go at all Brits because one person took things too personally?

          So by that logic, I should call all Americans fat and stupid because the one American I’ve seen this week was both fat, and stupid? Should I assume Americans have a sterling reputation of eating too much food and being ignorant based on the one idiot fat American I met this week?

          Oh, and I’m from South Africa. I guess you’d say I have a sterling reputation for racism.

          • mosinman

            dude are you serious? I was saying the British shouldn’t talk too much because the British empire hasn’t been an empire of saints either, not that I’m saying current brits have anything to do with the actions of thier forefathers or that I’m generalizing because of the “anon serviceman”

  • noguncontrol

    so will you repost the article next week?

  • David Lowrey

    As a gun owner I’m surprised you would pull this article. Due to our mutually shared hobby we both should understand what is like to have to lose out on something because of the actions or hurt feelings of others.

    It’s one thing to apologies. It’s another to take something away from others because of it.

    If we are going to by this logic we might as well never talk about the MG42 on the anniversary of D day. Or any weapon used on any particular day.

  • nobody

    I have a better idea, tell that limey shitbag to go drink some bleach. What next, are you going to remove an article about ar15s because someone gets butthurt that it was posted on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook or Aurora shootings? Are your articles now going to be walking through a damn minefield of whether similar guns were used for purposes that might upset people on that day?

  • Graham2

    Imagine if some sort of UK-based media outlet had run an article on how to make a pressure cooker bomb on the anniversary of the Boston marathon bombing! Maybe, just maybe, a few people in Boston and the wider US would have thought it a tad insensitive.

    I’m not sure if Steve should have pulled the article but its timing was odd to say the least.

  • It’s not a good feeling as a writer to have an article pulled; I understand that the association with the IRA and the national Irish holiday was too strong. I didn’t recognize this when I made it, and that’s my fault. As I mentioned when the post was live I certainly do not have a favorable opinion of the IRA.

    However simple the mistake may be, I really only thought of the rifle itself, and its history. That perspective was too limited, clearly, and I apologize to our audience for making the post.

    • Alucard

      Don’t apologize at all,there is no valid reason to have pulled the article,only a moron would blame a weapon and not the user.

    • grow a pair

      There is also a very offensive holiday, celebrated by a notorious gang of terrorists that also killed a lot of brits. They hold their murderous celebration on 4th of July. And a whole clique of terrorist, worst butchers of them all, celebrate another blood-soaked holiday on May 8th or 9th depending on what cut-throats and cannibals they are. I find both extremely offensive, and want the display of USA flag and the pictures of Potsdam Conference, as well as any references to black powder muskets, B-17’s and Stenguns banned.

      Grow a f****** pair nathaniel, you your editor and your blog. History happened, what does not need to happen in grown men whining like girls and another set of grown men apologising like p****ies for doing very little (if anything) wrong.

      • Blue Coat

        Yes, this!

    • Zebra Dun

      It all depends on whose side a person is on.

    • Squirreltakular

      The article was not offensive and should not have been pulled. I am half Spanish and feel a fairly deep connection to the people of Spain. If an article about the guns used by Francisco Franco’s military had been posted on a day such as Constitution Day, I couldn’t conceive of being offended, and far more people died under that bastard’s rule than died in The Troubles.

      It made sense to post the article on St. Pat’s because it’s associated with Ireland. So are The Troubles. So is the AR-180. It helps create an association in peoples’ minds and generates interest in the topic.

      We need to stop getting offended so damn easily.

  • rollen

    Wow …
    Just wow.
    Yes the IRA was a poor example of a freedom fighter, I would consider them terrorists. However Ireland was a British occupied country and people did want freedom from the crown. I say was because they have been cowed like the rest of the UK (except maybe for Scotland). The timing wasn’t bad, the soft armor of British is showing quite strongly here. Maybe they should round off all the sharp points of the kitchen knives to better protect their yellow bellies and put a video camera on every corner to keep them safe.

  • Grindstone50k

    lol k Brits.

    Guns are guns, not that you would know that with your super nanny statism.

    • Graham2

      Are Brits not allowed guns?

      • Phil Ward

        *taps sarcasm metre*
        Not really, but we can own up to 50 cal bolt guns…

  • Alucard

    I would have told him to pound sand,morons who blame the weapons used and not the people behind them deserve neither peace nor freedom,least of all an apology.

  • Don Ward

    Don’t sweat it guys.

    What is most deserving of an apology for is not having any articles on revolvers and wheel guns on 3-14-15 Pi Day, ya lazy tacticool shilling galoots!!! >:-0

  • Matt

    I never normally post, but I am absolutely disgusted with some of the comments i am reading. Yes I am British (some of you can’t seem to understand the British / UK difference, but anyhow). I found the article interesting and insightfull, but as mentioned timing wasn’t great. The site logo say it’s not about politics, yet some of you are doing just tha. The editor got a letter from a serviceman who has likely been to N.I
    and seen first hand what it’s like and raised in part a valid complaint.complaint, yet some of you seem to brazenly brush this aside and start trolling. Be ashamed of yourselveso. Apologies for typos as on a smartphone.

    • sauerquint

      “I am absolutely disgusted with some of the comments i am reading. Yes I am British”

      Then I suggest you find a nice safe space, you are not special, your problems are your own. The article was covering a rifle in the context of a conflict in which it was used on a day that brought it to mind.

      You may continue being disgusted.

    • Dan

      Why wouldn’t it be offensive any other day? Was St Patricks day the only day they used that firearm? Pulling the post is the same type of appeasement attitude that jeopadizes fiream rights. Be ashamed you let your feeling get in the way of knowledge.

  • Lee

    Hey, “Nobody” how about an article on the much maligned TSA next September and how much they piss everyone of the dickheads like you off , cause that wouldn’t be insensitive now would it…..Mate, how many countries rallied around America when terrorism visited your door? Australia, New Zealand, UK, France, need I go on?

    • Dan

      Well the TSA wasn’t around on 9/11 so it probably wouldn’t bother many.

      • Lee

        Thanks for pointing out the obvious, its an analogy…

  • Don Ward

    Delving a little deeper, I’m fully supportive of TFB and Nathanial and their decision.

    The problem wasn’t an article about the weapon or how the IRA used it but rather the combination of those two on St. Patrick’s Day. If the article had run on August 22nd or some random date, I don’t think this would be a concern.

    An analogy would be running an article about the Remington 760 GameMaster on MLK’s Birthday. An article on the Remington 760 GameMaster would be interesting 364 days of the year. On one day it isn’t. Nathanial’s article was nowhere in the vicinity of the analogy that I described of course, but folks should understand the point.

    The final issue isn’t that there was anything factually wrong with the article or that the author was taking sides – he wasn’t – rather it was the fact that the article was used as a forum to air anti-British, anti-Irish, anti-Catholic, anti-Protestant sentiment by various commenters. If you want someone to blame, blame the folks who chose to air 20-40 year old grievances on an American firearm forum. And once that happens, whatever value was in the article becomes secondary to the mud slinging going on in the comments section. And it’s unfortunate that some readers here wish to continue slinging mud instead of just nodding their heads and moving on.

    • sauerquint

      Perhaps you could issue some kind of calendar scheduling what is allowable and when.

      • Abram

        I second the motion. This whole charade is ridiculous.

    • Tassiebush

      Very well put!

  • Tom – UK

    Another Brit here, I have to say when I saw the article and that it had been posted on St Paddys day I was a little annoyed. Maybe it stirred up a bit of anger in me that was unjustified and unfair, however there I believe the reason for it is as follows.

    I believe the site, its contributors and its readership are predominantly American and perhaps I can explain from my personal viewpoint why the article caused some anger/upset. I don’t think Americans fully understand (through no fault of their own) the impact of the troubles on the British as a whole and how some of the the funding of the IRA from American financial and firearm contributions is felt. Its a bitter twisted feeling watching your soldiers patrol your countries streets every day for years, watching on television (and with your own eyes in many cases) as buildings are blown up, gunfights in the street and knowing of neighbours, friends and family who have just “dissapeared”.

    Seeing huge murals of Balaclava clad insurgents/terrorists/rebels (call them what you want) on the sides of buildings, graffiti describing the hatred of two communities and watching school children being attacked on the way to school (anyone remember little rock? not the same thing but something to think about). Whole generations of those growing up in North Ireland, Manchester and other areas to whom the smell of petrol bombs and explosives wasn’t unusual.

    Even today many years after the easing of the troubles car bombs, soldiers being killed and riots take place over this. The feeling is so strong that last year when a council removed the Union Flag from their council building there was more than a week of non-stop rioting.

    Before many of you jump in I must let you know that I am fully aware of the US Civil rights movement, the LA Riots, the various domestic terrorism incidents and the more recent Police shooting events. I don’t understand them, I understand they may be comparable to what I’ve written but I believe I don’t understand them in the same way you may not understand how the troubles affected us.

    However with all this being true I think TFB was completely within its rights to publish that article on that day even if it does anger people. Boo hoo I got angry, so what? I think it may have been poorly timed however I support the right of people to post whatever they want whenever they want more than I support the right not to be offended.

    Go ahead TFB keep posting things that offend, not because you want to offend but because submitting to the effects of violent groups past/present and future is something I believe should never take place.

    • Andrew

      I’m with you, Tom. As a veteran of two conflicts (not in my homeland, thankfully,) I get angry and offended by what I read or watch sometimes, too. Then I get over it, because my problems are not for everyone to share.

    • Ryan

      Whatever, maybe if you Brit scum didn’t spend hundreds of years persecuting, subjugating, and outright murdering people you felt were beneath you there wouldn’t be a need for groups like the IRA to stand against you. Go back to your censorship, massive amount of CCTV cameras, and over sensitive BS. Death to the Queen, Eirinn Go Brach!

      • Tom – UK

        Ryan, I think you may have forgotten a few key aspects.

        1. The original invasion of Ireland was carried out by the Normans not the British although Cromwell did later hop over and do it again. I do not support the manner in which the Irish have been treated and mishandled in the past, in fact I believe that had things been done propery then all of Ireland would be still be part of the UK.

        2. Ireland was colonised, a large portion of the Republic of Ireland is related to English people, have you noticed how you wrote in English not Celtic? You can pull up as much hatred towards us as you like but the fact is you are more similar to us than anyone else in the world.

        3. On both the Protestant and the Catholic side there has been plenty of “years persecuting, subjugating, and outright murdering people” so that view doesn’t hold ground either. Frankly the whole thing was a horrible mess.

        4. If you’re going to try and use the “persecuting and subjugating” Etc. argument you really aught to remember that pretty much every ethnic group and nationality has done it to one group or another. If you think the Irish are exempt from this then I suggest you ask the Native Americans how they are doing these days, after all many of the new colonists in America were Irish as were many of those who took part in wiping out the Native Americans.

        Then I suppose you could think about the many Irish in the Caribbean and USA who enjoyed the benefits of slavery.

        Then you could think about the Irish who enjoyed the use of their fellow Irish and British Indentured Servants (Slaves who gained their freedom after a period of time).

        5. One of the largest immigrant groups in the UK is the Irish, every year in fact many Irish come to the UK mainland and you’re all welcome to keep doing so.

        6. I’m not going to refer to all Irish as Scum, those I have met have been good people, some are bad eggs the same as any other group and I think you may be one of them.

        7. If you’re going to say Forever Ireland at least spell it right.

        8. If you’re one of those Americans that claims to be Irish on the basis that their great great grandfather or even grandfather came from Ireland then for goodness sake get a grip you are not Irish and no Irishman would ever consider you to be Irish.

        I left my comment to help enlighten people on a point of view, what has your comment achieved?

        • Tassiebush

          Your comment about the Irish Great great grandfather gave me a chuckle. One thing many descendants of the Irish diaspora often make assumptions about but don’t neccesarily know is which sectarian group they are descended from. A lot of Irish Protestants also emigrated.

        • petru sova

          As an American I find much wisdom in your response. One of the things I noticed and one that hurt me deeply was when I went to the land of my ancestors in Eastern Europe and I was told I was not one of them even though my blood ran 100 per cent. I think it hit home how deep racism often runs in people as they are tribal and often even reject people who are of the same ethnic background but grew up in a country outside their own. Your historical references are quite accurate which leads me to believe you are a product of higher education something that at times seems to be very scarce on gun forums here in America so racism or the complete lack of understanding of the subject often seems to be the norm and the lack of a realization how it is often the root cause of much of the worlds problems. I think your information on the peaceful integration of Irish especially those going to and working in England softened my own prejudices on the subject so I am able to say do to your post I am better educated on this subject and I thank you for posting this information.

    • Dan

      So we don’t know what it’s like? People who see daily gang violence don’t know? People who were witness to 9/11 dont know? You think your problem is unique to the UK? We have violence on the border of Mexico that makes the”troubles” look like a freaking game of patty cake. Lets take a look at our two counties and see who’s “troubles” resulted in more death. Don’t tell us we don’t know.

      • Tom – UK

        Hi Dan I think you’ve missed the point of what I was trying to say, it wasnt a “you don’t understand suffering” it was a “you don’t understand the mindset we have about the troubles and the suffering we all endured”.

        So yes I will tell you that you don’t understand because in the same way an American can’t understand what its like to be a born n bred UK/Irish Citizen who went through the troubles I can’t understand what its like to be a born n bred Texan with the Cartel issues. You see what I mean now?

        • Sable

          The main point is that it is childish to write a letter complain to get an article you don’t agree with taken down. Oh right, you all don’t have freedom of speech there either.

          • Tom – UK

            Sigh you had a perfectly reasonable point until you threw in your baby comment at the end.

            I should know better than to spend time on something because someone on the internet is wrong. I’m off to the pub and don’t worry Sable I’ll only drink dictators prescribed drink and discuss the topics outlined as acceptable by the party 😉

          • Sable

            Oooh, that burns – I guess I’ll just have to console myself with my collection of firearms that you’ll never be allowed to own. I’m not sure if it will give me the satisfaction your victim complex gives you though, but I’m determined to try.

          • Tassiebush

            Wow Sable I didn’t realize the USA won WW2 all by themselves…

          • Sable

            I’m honestly disappointed that anyone interpreted that photo as anything but a joke and a jab at the British. Thank you Tassiebrush for personally lowering my faith in humanity. This whole issue is ridiculous in that anyone who believes that others should cater to their delicate, lilac scented feelings is a moron and that anyone who listens to them is dumber for having heard them speak.

          • Tassiebush

            I apologize for the misunderstanding. I was actually having a joke and a jab back at the US. Oh and I apologize for apologizing too 😉

    • Chase Buchanan

      It’s hard for all of us who weren’t there to understand how it felt. Thank you for providing us with a little insight into the Troubles, Tom.

    • Tom

      Well said Tom. Personally I find the American attitude to the Irish situation to be a deeply hypocritical thing (that white European Americans accuse the British of colonialism), but hey that is humanity for you our history is not pretty.

      I think the worst part though is the presentation that violence is all there is to Ireland. I appreciate this is a gun blog and so the subject matter is rightly limited but there is far more going on. Maybe next year an article on the guns of the Irish Defence Force or Garda Síochána or even the civilian shooting scene. Ireland is not all violence and drunkenness.

    • petru sova

      Even as an American (although I am very sympathetic towards the Irish) I do not condone terrorism rather I support Ghandi-ism or change through peaceful protest although this is not understood in America and History is almost an unknown subject in America and that goes double for History outside the U.S. Most Americans cannot even tell the difference between the various British sounding dialects or that they often represent different cultures as well. I too think the pictures were in very, very bad taste and even as an American they made me feel very uncomfortable. We have enough hate and racism and religious intolerance in the world without string up more. I think the subject was definitely worth posting but without the lurid pictures of people killing each other in the streets especially civilian women killing people as that really was upsetting as to the utter depravity of the human race as women are supposed to give life not take it. I can understand why this happens but I do not condone it.

  • Colin

    As a Brit, I too found the timing a bit off. However, if Nathaniel or Steve re-edit and post it again I don’t see any problem.
    There is no need for the mud slinging going on.

  • fail

    Oh boo hoo hoo crocodile tears. A brit being offended by the struggle of a people under the boot of what was then british terrorism and illegal occupation by a country which is still by 2015 a hereditary monarchy.

    And the editor’s apologetics… lord have mercy, for this man has lost both his testacles today.

    • Victor Ward

      What is illegal? The fact that the Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, was being held at gunpoint by murderous scum meant that the population had to be protected. How can it be an occupation when the country is part of the UK?

      • fail

        Don’t go Jane Psaki on me. You know exactly what I mean.

  • DonDrapersAcidTrip

    Gun people are the biggiest cry babies sometimes

  • UKShuggy

    Well done TFB, that was the right decision.

    As a Brit, I too was a bit dismayed at the timing of the post. The reality is that the AR-180s that appeared in the hands of the IRA did not come from Stirling in England (as was claimed in the recent TFB video), but from IRA sympathisers in North America. Perhaps you can understand why the subject remains a sensitive one.

    The Troubles left deeps scars on our communities and people should not be surprised if the subject still stirs strong feelings. We are now walking on the delicate path of the peace process. Long may that continue!

    • Cheeky

      “A bit dismayed?” Lol.

      • UKShuggy

        That’s good old British understatement!

      • Abram

        Harumph! Harumph!

    • RocketScientist

      I agree. It’s quite bothersome when the peasants on the island to the west get a little uppity and decide they should be able to run their own country once again. Some even have the audacity to fight back! It’s quite rude to remind us proud Brittish subjects of the oppressive nature of our occupation of that other island, I can’t believe this site would sink so low. Glad to see they’ve taken it down. Long live the Queen!

      • USA

        British understatement, meet American sarcasm.

    • Sheesh

      Those “deep scars” tell a story that shouldn’t be ignored because of icky feelings associated with the memories of old wounds. Remembering the violence and atrocities of the conflict will strengthen the walls on the “delicate path of the peace process.” I’m sure you’re familiar with George Santayana’s quote, which is applicable here: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

      Studying history is uncomfortable and the confrontation and examination of humanity’s past mistakes is a necessary task to ensure a better future. We can’t undo evil by ignoring every time it has reared its ugly head.

      • UKShuggy

        I agree with you. I had no problem with the content of the article. I think that Steve J has it right when he says that the timing of the article was unfortunate.

        • Sheesh

          I don’t think you do agree. “The timing of the article was unfortunate,” but “the right decision” is not to turn our heads, deleting the post.

          You don’t fight monsters by censoring discussions about them. A thorough, meaningful examination of history is uncomfortable. Change usually doesn’t come from comfort.

          • UKShuggy

            Well Sheesh, you make some good points. Far more thoughtful than some of the other trolling comments that have been placed on here.

    • Kevin Harron

      As a person of Irish descent who had family killed by the IRA, I had no problem with the article. I didn’t find it glorified terrorism. If you were legit offended by it, I have several tubes of Preparation H I can mail you to soothe the butthurt.

    • David Sharpe

      What about the “Deep scars” that the British left on the country of Ireland? What about the thousands of innocent Irish citizens killed by the Brits?

      • UKShuggy

        David, I was careful to use the plural term ‘communities’ to acknowledge that there was harm and hurt on both sides of the Troubles; and yes that does go back for centuries. However today’s peace process is about looking forwards, not back. But from reading your other comments, I rather doubt that you will accept that.

        • David Sharpe

          And bowing down to some whiny sod because they are offended is moving forwards? That is moving backwards.

  • ak1134

    SOOOO Don’t ever cover an AK-47 for the rest of your sites existence?

  • don

    My my,all the usual F ing ‘tough guys’ weigh in.Do what ya want Steve,your race course.

  • Zugunder

    There was several articles with Russian soldiers in Crimea, rebels in eastern Ukraine and Ukrainian soldiers (I recall even right sector volunteers with STG-44) while actual conflict is going on. Should I, as Russian, or some Ukrainian reader complain about some of them?

  • Captain Twit

    As an Irishman (Republic of Ireland that is) and a gun enthusiast I found the AR 180 story interesting. I don’t have any issue with publishing stories, regardless of the day, about guns used by whomever. Honestly if you look closely enough most guns have been used on both sides of conflicts. Should you not post a story on metric and inch FALs on the anniversary of the Falklands, where both sides used basically the same firearm? No, because that would be ridiculous.
    The exact same thing here, storm in a teacup.

  • some_guy

    To hell with England! IRA all the way, keep those British scumbags out of Ireland.

  • Daniel

    Screw the Brits. If it weren’t for their racism, persecution, and murder of the Irish people there wouldn’t be the IRA.

  • Cal S.

    Wow. Sorry, but there are those of us who consider the British seizure of Northern Ireland to be a terrorist act. It must feel nice to be so high-and-mighty when you forget you were in the wrong.

    In fact, maybe you at TFB shouldn’t cover British guns on Easter (or any variant thereof) in remembrance of the Easter Massacre, eh? Might offend me. Dunno, I’ll let you know when it gets closer.

  • jack c

    Good call Steve, it says a lot about this blog that an email from a British serviceman to the editor carrys more weight than a comment to the post author saying the same thing. Sick leave is hardly an excuse when the author is still commenting away.

  • MPWS

    This is a sorry state of society; increasingly becoming apologetic, soon for its own existence. I agree with view of Editor that guns are “neither good nor bad, but just mechanical tools”. May I add: They Do Not Carry Political Stripes!

    Do not let this web to disintegrate for reason of deviant politics!


    I read the piece yesterday and I am a Scotsman ( but not a Celtic or Rangers fan). I am well old enough to remember the headlines, the Orange Lodge, the chants etc.

    The piece was a little clumsy and could have been less trivial of troubles, in general. Had the article had been presented as a guerilla war and given info about how the guns got in to the country and the lengths they went to get ammo etc. – I would have been more engaged.

    But some times you have to ‘take it on the chin’ (as you say ‘suck it up’) and be grateful that this is becoming ancient history in the eyes of following generations.

    In the same way that you can ‘Hilarious Titanic T Shirts’ (1500+ Dead) everything becomes history to some one.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Good for both of you, Steve and Nathaniel! As an American, the photos put me off a bit, but I understood that it was about the RIFLE, not the events. Still, showing respect for those who were directly affected is a good thing.

  • OR213

    You shouldn’t have pulled the article. The AR-180 was, as mentioned in the article, used by both sides during the conflict in Northern Ireland. Its totally appropriate to post an article on on a blog that focuses on the technical and historical nature of firearms, about a gun related to Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day.

    I think this is a poor precedent to set. You don’t have to dig too deeply into the history of Northern Ireland to find “terrorist” on all sides, including the forces of the UK. TFB should be able to write an article, and then withstand a little criticism over its publication. No need for anyone to be on “sick leave,” if someone doesn’t like an article… they don’t have to read it. Its asinine for this “Brit” to be taking the high ground on this issue, especially considering … last I checked… Northern Ireland is…. Northern IRELAND and not Western England. Not to mention the fact that this is a gun blog… and its not like the English are the most enlightened about gun rights… That was a side track though… TFB shouldn’t get pushed around because they post about a controversial topic.

    Drink another pint and keep on posting.

    • Mr Mxyzptlk

      It was not used by both sides, it was pretty much exclusively used by Republican paramilitaries who got them shipped over from the US.

      I do know of at least one guy was in “The Det” (part of the British Army Intelligence Corps) who sometimes carried a captured AR-18 whilst doing surveillance as with the folding stock he could fit in the foot-well of his car. It also had the advantage that if he was seen with it by Republicans he was not necessarily immediately assumed to be British army and lynched. This was far from the norm though, and it certainly wasn’t used by any official security services on either side to the best of my knowledge.

      • dan citizen

        There were way more than two sides in the troubles.

        • MikeF

          Good Point.

  • mosinman

    >complains about an AR-180 article that mentions the IRA on St.Patrick’s day
    > is a citizen of a country that built an empire that killed, oppressed and conquered more people and land then the IRA ever will

  • Captain Obvious

    Publishing photos and articles of guns used by terrorists or criminals on the anniversary of those events could be considered bad taste. I applaud TFB for recognizing it.

    • Dan

      What if they used a side by side shotgun? They used more than just the AR-180. Perhaps just not post about any gun that could have been used by the IRA on St. Patty’s day. Or how about you quit being over dramatic and recognize the post for what it really was.

  • Vitsaus

    This is the begining of the end. The Irish issue aside, the first apology for offending some one’s sensibilities is the end of free speech, free thought, and intellectual exploration. I’m quite disappointed today.

  • loveAR15

    I life in europe, and here we have less freedom,

    less freedom of speech, less freedom to say in public places

    thing we are thinking.

    I am not telling about extremist or nazi things, simply, if you are not

    I am not telling about extremist or nazi things, simply, if you do not agree with the

    political elite and you say it publicly,you will be prosecuted by censorship laws.

    by merely saying that all citizens should to decide on things

    like immigration (not prevent immigration but to control it,

    or how much public money is given it,against public opinion) or

    energy policies, or taxes, you can be pursued. To do this they create

    laws as “hate crime” that apply to citizens who have not said anything extreme.

    If you say that should be monitored the mexquitas to control extremism,”HATE CRIME”

    Right now I’m challenging European censorship, here.

    • Mr Mxyzptlk

      As a resident of Europe what makes you think you have less freedom than anywhere else, or for that matter that “Europe” is one big homogeneous are where you experience would remotely apply to anyone else in another country like the UK? According to Reporters Without Borders the USA is ranked 46th in freedom of the press whereas the UK is 33rd, with a lot of the rest of Europe beating the USA as well..

      • Yellow Devil

        And I call B.S. on that ranking, because studies like those are ultimately based on perceptions of what constitutes “Freedom”. Freedom is merely a construct determined by the Government or Authorities to be handed on on an “as is basis”. I’m more interested in a study that actually ranks the ability for individuals to exercise their personal Liberty with minimal interference.

        I don’t know why you dragged USA into your comment either, since the original poster said he lived in Europe.

        • petru sova

          you had better start watching foreign news channels. When the French news paper was attacked they had the freedom to publish before and after what they wanted to and in the U.S. the same and similar cartoons were banned. Now who had more freedom of speech. Seems Mr. Mxyzptlk is the person who really knows what he is talking about.

  • Mr Mxyzptlk

    I am an ex British serviceman and current police officer and I did not hot have a problem with the article per se, but it was more the tone of comments that it seemed to attract which I see are once again in full flow in this article. For a site that has the tag line “firearms not politics” I do sometimes feel that you should show a bit more responsibility over some of the topics that are covered and how they are discussed.

    There also appears to be an absolutely staggering amount of historical ignorance in a lot of the comments here, so just feel that I should point out that that vast majority of people in Northern Ireland WANT to be part of the UK. That is why it was split in the first place. As for the people saying that the IRA were patriots and freedom fighters, when they did stuff like pull over buses full of civilians, force people to tell them their religion and execute the Protestants, I really do not think you can argue that they weren’t terrorists.

    • balorevileye

      And The Loyalist paramilitaries were different how? They bombed buses too, the Miami Showband Massacre is one that springs to mind. Anyway, in 1919 the vast majority of the Island of Ireland voted in favour of candidates in favour of Dail Eireann (An independent Parliament of an Irish republic). Why the country was divided was to give the protestant loyalists an area in which they had majority. As an Irish republican I take no offensive in an article being written about the a particular weapon used by the IRA and published on St. Patrick’s Day no more than I would take offensive to an article about the SA80 on St. George’s Day. After all what about freedom of speech, one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter

  • jaime

    no need to apologize IMO, the British/English Ireland politics are a damn shame for a supposedly modern western country

  • Zebra Dun

    Please don’t cover any guns used during any period of time by terrorist.
    The list is long.
    STENS, Winchester lever actions, and the Muskets of the American colonial Army.
    You do know what happens when you pay the Dane geld?
    Please don’t cover any firearms ever used to kill people.

  • fukthecrown

    Brits out.

  • iowaclass

    Wow. “Trigger warnings” now required on gun blogs. The opportunity for bad puns is overwhelming.

  • HolyCOW

    “Firearms, not politics”

  • Josh

    If this site which is about firearms not politics, were to not talk about terrorist weapons then there wouldn’t be talk about any of the guns peole like to talk about. We wouldn’t be talking about AKs because of Al qaeda, boko haram ISIS, pick any group today. There wouldn’t be anything on th AR15 because of Adam Lanza, James Holmes, etc. Particularly on Bushmaster. There wouldn’t be anything on the Ruger mini-14 because of the guy in Norway and the Miami shootout. The list is probably a mile long. The problem is too may self entitled people out there who take offense to certain things and try to impose their mindset on others.

  • Grindstone50k

    How about an article “Guns of the Indian Revolution”? “Guns of the Argentine Military”? “Guns of the American Revolution”?

    And look at all these commenters who never post a damn thing on any other article.

    • Historian

      Sounds good to me.

    • Lee

      Well its got people posting now, freedom of expression and all that stuff..jeez, anyone would think you’re the (pre-parliamentary democracy) King of England…..

      • Grindstone50k

        In what way was my post at all advocating for violating peoples’ right to freedom of expression? Strawman much?

        • Lee

          It took you nine hours to think of that witty riposte. And its straw man, not strawman , that would be like the character in the Wizard of Oz, to which you do have a strikingly similar problem.

          • Grindstone50k

            I want whatever you’re smoking. It seems like it would be fun.

      • Grindstone50k

        You don’t even understand what freedom of expression means.

  • dannye

    The irony of a footman for the Brutish Empire crying about “terrorists”.

  • Desert Ranger

    So if TFB publishes an article on the Spencer Repeating Rifle on the anniversary of Gettysburg and a southerner complains you will pull the article? Or if you publish an article on the Fayetteville rifle and some Yankee complains you will pull the article? Seriously?

    • Holdfast_II

      There has been some passage of time. If anyone who actually served in the Civil War and saw those rifles from the “business” end is reading TFB, I’d be very interested in his h alth regimen.

      • Desert Ranger

        Why does that matter? If we’re so worried about “feelings” here how about the legacy of poverty and suffering left by British Colonial rule? Michael Collins is considered by some to be a freedom fighter and others (AKA- the British) he is a terrorist. The Irish Republic wouldn’t have happened without him or his use of guerrilla warfare.

        • Desert Ranger

          And Yes, I know Collins was part of the first Irish Revolution but pretending the troubles wasn’t tied to centuries of British Colonial abuses is laughable.

    • Tom

      I think its more because St Patrick’s Day is basically Irish Day and of all the things TFB could of picked they went for the Troubles. There is more to Ireland than the Troubles. There is I believe a general sentiment in Britain that some Americans romantise the Troubles (and the comments here by some confirm that) which makes it a tricky subject. For me its not that TFB should not of done the article (they did a previous article on the AR18 and the IRA) but that on that particular day they should of gone with a different topic like the state of civilian shooting in Eire (they have much more freedom with owning guns that the UK though it pales in comparison to the US).

      • Desert Ranger

        That doesn’t really answer my question. And why should they have to chose a politically correct topic? The Brits have a lot of blood on their hands, as does any nation-state. I tire of the outcry of people to woosy just to read the articles.

        • Tom

          To answer your question then no but I would suggest its a false equivalency. Guns are of vourse an important part of history. The problem I think some had (though for me and most others it was not anything we were going to complain about) was that the basically all TFB could do was come up with a rather trivial and poor quality article on the AR18/IRA for St Patrick’s Day. Most of the British audience of this blog are well aware that it’s an American blog aimed mostly at an American audience. The article simple reinforced the perception that many in the British Isles have that for Americans Ireland equals violence and the IRA.

          If on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday (30th January for the 1972 incident in Londonderry and 21st November for the massacre at the Croke Park in Dublin 1920) TFB ran an article on the the weapons of the British Security Forces at the time that would be fine and historically appropriate. Just a writing about weapons in the US Civil War on the anniversary of Gettisburg would be or any other day.

          Speaking personally its more patronising than anything else. If it had been a better article then it would of got a pass but it was pretty poor (yes that is just my feeling on the article) and just stunk of a desperation to do something “Irish” which in itself is understandable but there is more to Ireland than the IRA and the Troubles. That this was the first and only thing TFB could come up with is the problem and is compounded by the poor quality of the article. If anyone is owed an apology its not the people of the UK but those of Eire.

          All that being said I do not see the point in taking down the article, whats done is done and those who chose to be insulted were/are still insulted and those who did not read it will now not be able to to and hence its hard for them to come to their own conclusion on the article or the merits of the arguments for or against. I do not think anyone intended to insult or upset anyone with the article not that we should ever be afraid of insulting or upsetting people when necessary to express an idea or opinion because that is how free speech and the market or free ideas works.

          Maybe if in a few weeks when the heat has died down the article can be rewritten to give it a little more substance and re posted it will get a better reception. But then again it would be good I think for the original article to be re posted so people can make up their own minds on it.

          But please remember the peace process is not even 10 years old. There are still a lot of people alive today that lost sons and daughters during the Troubles and many of those have not even had the comfort of being able to give their loved ones proper burials. The peace process is still in its infancy (we dance around contentious issues in the hope that someone will come up with a workable solution and achieve very little) many of the peace walls remain up and still only about a quarter of children attend non segregated schools. Outbreaks of sectarian violence and disorder are still quite common and whilst the result is now more likely to be destruction of property than people this still results in a reluctance from business to invest in Norther Ireland and thus contributes to the economic problems that exist.

  • HenryV

    I did find it amusing that you used Provo propaganda pic’s and tried to pass them off as actual events; like the women searching that man. You made it look the Troubles were open armed revolt like the Warsaw Ghetto Rising. Pictures and film of terrorists patrolling streets during the Troubles was all propaganda. Firearms were used during riots but the number of firearms used openly as suggested in those pictures was virtually unknown. I find all information about what weapons the IRA, INLA etc used interesting.. It is understandable that Americans of Irish decent would want to romanticise the Troubles. Just as there are Muslims in say Dearborn celebrate when a US soldier is killed. It is what we humans do. One day hopefully we will grow out of it.

    • n0truscotsman

      “tried to pass them off as actual events”

      How so?

      I find it amusing that people draw wrong conclusions from articles that rub them the wrong way.

      • HenryV

        They were propaganda pictures. There weren’t fare colleen patrolling the streets of Belfast and Derry with Armalites slung over the shoulders doing “stops and searches”.

        I am not sure how you think the article rubbed me up the wrong way. And as from drawing the wrong conclusions well I grew up in the 70s and 80s during the Troubles. It was a feature of our lives. How many of your family and community went across the water for a tour? How many do you know who didn’t come back? How deep is your actual interest? How many books sit on your shelves detailing the struggle from both sides?

        • n0truscotsman

          “They were propaganda pictures”

          …That were used because there were AR18s there.

          “And as from drawing the wrong conclusions well I grew up in the 70s and 80s during the Troubles.”

          I never said you are drawing from wrong conclusions about the events, but rather the article itself. Two different things.

          “How many of your family and community went across the water for a
          tour? How many do you know who didn’t come back? How deep is your
          actual interest? How many books sit on your shelves detailing the
          struggle from both sides?”

          Considering I spent two decades of my life involved in a counter-insurgency against armed irregulars in one form or the other, the subject interests me greatly. I dont know how many books I have. Never counted them.

          The whole “you dont know what it was like, you weren’t there” isn’t a argument.

          • HenryV

            I know the pictures were there because of the firearm.

            The way the photographs were presented alluded to them pictures of actual events not staged events for propaganda purposes.

          • n0truscotsman

            okay. Ill be sure to find the abundant pictures of the IRA with AR18s and link them to the author if another article of a similar subject is brought up in the future. 🙂

          • HenryV

            The thing is you won’t find pictures of the IRA or INLA doing anything for “real” because of the risk to security and obviously cameras weren’t ubiquitous only propaganda pics and archive coverage of arms caches.

            I can’t believe I am having to argue and justify blatantly obvious points. Well blatant if you have ever studied such campaigns or live through them.

            Good grief.

    • petru sova

      Acutally HenryV American Muslims in Dearborn or anywhere else do not cheer when an American soldier is killed because a lot of their own children are in the U.S. Military and when one American is killed it only makes it rougher on U.S. Muslims because the ignorant lower class Americans think that all American Muslims are out to get them even though over 6 million of them go to work every day in America and raise children and are good citizens. Something unfathomable to the “unwashed” of our society.


    TFB: Stick to your Guns (no pun intended). Firearms not Politics.
    This is why the TFB teams has a good blog going. Firearms are tools.
    They have no loyalty. No politics. No intentions.
    If we heed to censorship related to grievances (which over time evolve and change) we won’t be able to discuss any particular firearm.
    TFB Writers: be bold (damn the respective political sensitivities) and focus on small arms used by various groups modern or historical.
    TFB Readers: we are here to read about firearms and related
    tools – not to have political discussions over the history of warfare (modern
    or historical).

  • MountainKelly

    I didn’t find it offensive but to each their own.

  • All the Raindrops

    This is why the brits can’t have guns.

    • Graham2

      You don’t know what you’re talking about! Like a lot of people who post on here, supposedly knowing about UK firearms law.

  • Moose

    There’s nothing wrong with the timing… It was relevant.
    So much for guns and not politics.

    • David Sharpe

      I’m considering to no longer follow TFB over this. I thought this site wasn’t about politics.

  • limasierra1813

    This is bullshit. You claim you are different from the msm, then pull down the “offending” post. And the author on “sick leave”? Please. Next we’ll hear he is on “leave of absence”, then never hear from him again. You’re starting to sound like the msm you condemn. Sorry the British serviceman was offended, but were these people not fighting for independence? Just like those pesky 13 colonies 239 years ago. This is a low point for your blog. Grow a pair.

    • Tom

      It has been a while since history class but I do not recall that Washington’s forces planting bombs to kill women and children or murdering members of their own community they believed were not entirely supportive or selling drugs and robbing banks to fund their war, maybe it was in a footnote.

      Personally its not that it was an article on the IRA or the weapons they used its that on St Patrick’s day (when all Americans pretend to be Irish) all these site could think of was to run an article on the IRA. There is a lot more to Ireland and its history than the IRA and sectarian violence.

      • petru sova

        Say Tom you left out the best part. The U.S. invaded and murdered 1/2 million Chinese (along with some European countries) during the Boxer Rebellion and then a year later for more practice the U.S, invaded the Philippian Islands and murdered another 1/4 million but in this war even though the kill numbers were only half of the Chinese catastrophe most of the Pilipino deaths were women and children as it was Cesarean war which is how the U.S. won the American Indian wars. If you murder all the women and children and promise amnesty to the leaders they will all give up. Then you go back on your word and murder the leaders such as Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and the same was done to some of the Philippian leaders. I will not even mention Viet-Nam as it was started to protect American Business interests there with the silly excuse of a “Domino Theory” that conservatives are still eagerly awaiting to happen 50 years after the fact. And Americans often ask “Why do so many foreign countries hate us? Of course since we never did anything wrong, ever, we can feel free to criticize all other countries.

        • limasierra1813

          Ah yes, America, the root of all evil in the world. Funny, I don’t see thousands of people risking everything to get to China, the Phillipines or ‘Nam. Funnier still, I don’t see China, the Phillipines or Viet Nam being called to take care of the worlds problems. No one else but ‘Murica. Sure, America has done some bad things, name one nation that hasn’t. Yet when the world needs to be rescued, it’s the US they call. No one was criticizing England or N. Ireland, just that this blog pulled an article because it offended someone.

          • petru sova

            You had better go back read all the comments by Americans who think they are “real Irishmen” or pretend they know anything about British or Irish history when they know so little of even their own. I bet they even believe the atomic bomb was necessary.

          • petru sova

            And as far as your comment about people not going to China. Start watching international news programs that have done stories of Americans and other people of the worlds countries going to China for jobs because even educated Americans can no longer find jobs here in the industrial Rust bowl of America. Ditto for Americans going for jobs in Germany, France, and Dubai. The medical care and standard of living in other industrialized countries have long surpassed Americas.

      • limasierra1813

        You miss the point. You don’t claim to be a pro gun and pro freedom blog then pull an article because it may hurt some feelings. War brings out the worst in humans. If you don’t think some Torys were hung by rebels, go back to school. Atrocities occur in war, unfortunately the innocent pay the price.

        • Tom

          For what its worth I do not agree with pulling the article. That being said I think if I were the editor I would not of run it in the first place.

          On the point of the Revolutionary War whilst atrocities did occur they were I believe fairly rare and certainly nether side deliberately targeted civilians (which the IRA did). Terrorists are terrorists because of the tactics they use not the validity or not of their cause. Whilst the revolutionary army could be seen as insurgents they engage in conventional war with a conventional enemy. I personally think it is a bit of an insult to the memory of George Washington to suggest that he was a terrorist or is comparable with the IRA.

          • limasierra1813

            Washington was called a terrorist by George 111. I am not in any way comparing Washington with the IRA. The British hanged, shot and burned the homes of rebels and supporters. Who were the terrorists? If you don’t have a coventional army, you have to use unconventional means to attack an army. Remember that Washington approved the targeting of British officers, unheard of at that time, that does not make him a terrorist, it makes him a brilliant tactical commander. I don’t condone attacking civilians, but in any war, it is the civilian that suffers the most.

            Why not run the post, because it may offend? This blog runs posts of weapons used by the Nazis, and the Viet Cong all the time. No one ever complains. Run one post about a weapon used by the IRA and all of a sudden someone has their knickers all wadded up. I am not supporting the IRA, I am condemning the fact that this blog pulled down a post because it offended someone. It was, after all St. Paddy’s day, a day of celebration for Irish Catholics.

          • Tom

            And your last sentence explains it all. There is far more to Ireland than the IRA which is what alot of people are complaining about. Also there is such a thing as Irish Protestants too and we also have saints days.

  • Julian Harper

    “Terrorist” is kind of a matter of opinion.

  • HKGuns

    Disagree it was offensive. Perhaps this sensitivity provides a bit of insight into why they no longer have guns of any significant nature in the UK.

    • Mr Mxyzptlk

      How exactly does a British person being offended by an article which arguably glorifies (or at the least trivialises) a terrorist group responsible for the deaths of thousands of UK serviceman and civilians correlate in anyway to firearms law?

      Is it really just me or is the lack of any sort of empathy from some of the comments here deeply disturbing? It seems that most people are of the opinion that if it doesn’t personally offend or affect them then anybody else can just go and f**k themselves.

      • David Sharpe

        Think about the reason why the IRA was formed, what did the Brits do to warrant the Irish to fight back, I will wait, it may take you awhile…….

        It’s about guns, not politics here, the whiny Brit that complained needs to go change their tampon.

        • kyphe

          You really need to learn more history before making statements like that, it may take you a while…..

          • David Sharpe

            I think you need to learn a little history, the IRA was formed after the British invasion of Ireland, and after the British slaughtered many innocent Irish citizens…

          • kyphe

            You really do not have the first clue do you! step one! Ireland came under britsh control due to the Normans in 1169 Ireland had for a long time been raiding the west coast of Britain for goods and slaves!

            Now the IRA were not formed till 1913 following the Easter Rising, which was an entirely politically motivated action!
            Half my family is IRISH! who came to live in the UK 65 years ago!

            If there is one thing we don’t need is more nonsense and lies about history!

          • David Sharpe

            Tell me, what do you think of the American revolutionaries such as the Sons of Liberty?

          • kyphe

            Sons of liberty were a non military political action group.

          • David Sharpe

            What about the Military action groups that fought the British? Are they okay or are they terrorists too? If they’re fine, why is it that the Irish are terrorists but the American revolutionaries weren’t?

          • kyphe

            Again if you don’t know the answer to that then you need to learn history, you also need to stop telling other people to learn what you know nothing about

          • David Sharpe

            No tell me, what do you think of American Revolutionaries? Don’t dodge the question.

          • kyphe

            The IRA used Terror against their own people and deliberately targeted civilians! They rejected the legitimate Irish government of the republic and placed themselves above any law of man or God. They ran republican areas of northern Ireland like a mafia group which is pretty much what they are. Pro British paramilitary’s are just as bad however. This is nothing to do with which nation they are from or who they call enemy this is about who they are and what they do! Now I do not know enough about the early part of the war of independence to comment on American revolutionaries but unlike you i will not make stuff up off the top of my head! they do appear to have followed the laws of war at the time and were intent on forming a credible democracy. most battles in the war of independence was fought between militia groups of the resident population both pro brit and pro independence. Now back to you! There was no British invasion of Ireland the IRA were not formed in response to killings of innocent Irish people who were britsh citizens at the time the IRA were formed not Irish citizens. though there have been enough real bloodshed and bloody battles notably those of Cromwell without making stuff up. So stop annoying people and go learn something if you intend to keep commenting.

  • spotr

    TFB has now set a bad precedent. The message to anyone with an opinion (everyone) is that your will remove the article if they “complain that it offends; someone, somewhere, sometimes, somehow”.

    You may have opened up a pandora’s box of future complaints that will shift this blog from “Firearms not politics” to “That offends me, censor it!”.

    • balorevileye

      If Freedom of speech disappears then the freedom to bear arms is next. One crank cannot cause an article to be taken down, if it does its a poor reflection on this website which was one of my favourite up to now.

  • Kivaari

    Personally, I hate those people that get offended about anything that I like. But, that is a right we have. The British used to be a nation of tough guys, and now they have collectively become weenies. Too bad. Why are the Brits still in Northern Ireland?

    • Tom

      As a British person of Irish descent I will try to answer. I was offended not by the topic or even the pictures but by the fact that someone sat down and thought what can we do for St Patrick’s Day? “Lets do an article on the AR18 and IRA.” There is far more to Irish history than the IRA. But having said all that I was was not going to complain (I made one comment on a technical point) because I am not a special snow flake who should be permitted to go through life without ever being offended.

      One or two people complained that is on them if they actually thought it worth the trouble (I do not believe anyone meant to offend anyone for what its worth anyway) me I thought whatever and got on with my day. But please do not judge all British people on this, yes years of nannying governments and pandering to SJW has left few in our society that understand what free speech is and that is a terrible thing. But please do not insult us all based on the actions of those.

      As for why Northern Ireland is still part of the UK its because in a free a democratic society people are free to choose which country they belong with. That is exactly what the people of Northern Ireland have done on several occasions. That might all change in the future but as it stands the majority of people want to be part of the UK and not Eire. Which frankly means the rest of us are stuck with them.

      Edit to add I do not think they should of removed the article.

      • Kivaari

        Thanks for your comments. We are MOSTLY Irish in this family. My wife’s family is mostly Northern, mine from Cork.

  • Cannoneer No. 4

    Have you never seen She Wore A Yellow Ribbon? NEVER apologize. It’s a sign of weakness. You can never apologize enough to placate the Perpetually Offended. Whoever clutches their pearls over your free content can put their eyeballs somewhere else.

  • Davidio Flavio

    My ancestors fled Ireland during the potato famine, during which the English denied aid to those poor Irish peasants.

    They felt it was better to let them starve or flee the country, so your apology to the descendant of their oppressors DOES make me angry and offends my Irish ancestry.

    Further, St Patrick’s day is a Catholic religious holiday, which predates the IRA by hundreds of years, and the probable Protestan soldier probably is offended by the Holiday itself.

    In actuality, running the article about the IRA probably shows more respect to the original inhabitants than anything else you could print.

    Further I personally have no respect for a country who allows an inherited figure to be the defacto leader of its nation.

  • FelixD

    By the logic used to pull the story in question then we must now, regretfully, never mention any British military firearm again because of events in places like Culloden or Amritsar.

  • Chase Buchanan

    That was a well-worded, sensitive, and thoughtful apology letter.

  • janklow

    see, and here i thought St. Patrick’s Day was a perfect tongue-in-cheek time to discuss the AR-18: is there any usage other than than the IRA’s that it’s really well known for?

    • Dan

      Apparently it just Kills British people on St. Patricks day. No other day

  • Mike

    OK. It’s not St.Patrick’s Day. Can you put the post back so I can read it? I was drunk on the 17th and missed it.

  • David Sharpe

    I thought it was “Firearms, not politics” around here? You reported on the guns, not the IRA.

    Are you now going to refuse to do articles on British guns since they invaded and slaughtered thousands of innocent Irish citizens?

  • derfelcadarn

    It is NOT the gun but the terrorist !

  • Abram

    In my opinion, the notion of separating guns and politics is rather naive. It is at the nexus of firearms and politics, that calling a firearm simply ‘another tool’ is just ridiculous. I’ve enjoyed this blog for quite a while, and am curious to see how much longer it can last trying to separate the two subjects.

  • dan citizen

    What a whiner.

    The amount of inappropriate and stupid in this guy’s letter is pathetic. He should be ashamed for coming up with it, let alone actually sending it.

  • kyphe

    According to that table the Irish republican paramilitary killed 2058 of which 1080 were British military, the British military killed 363 of which 146 were confirmed republican paramilitary. this tells us two things. first that the Republican paramilitary were the principal killers, second that it is much easier to identify casualties when one side is in uniform

    • l

      Don’t worry mate, its like talking to a statue. Cant even read the data he supplied in the attachment…

  • M C

    How would everyone feel about an article on the firearms used by Al Qaeda if it was posted in September, perhaps on the 11th?

    • Dan

      I would be fine with it, since an AK47 didnt bring down the twin towers or force its way into a cockpit and I am a rational person that isn’t offended by that

  • kyphe

    As a British citizen with an Irish mother and a brother who did two tours of Iraq and one of Afghan, I find this whole affair to be ludicrous! no the article should not have been removed. Yes a lot of British soldiers were murdered in cold blood by snipers using the AR18 but the article itself was not offensive other than those daft pictures which did trivialize the issue slightly.
    Considering St Patrick was British lol, not the best day for it no.

  • Anon E Moose

    What a bunch of foghats. Go screw your mothers, you spineless, un-American pusscakes.

    • Dan

      He was British of course he is un American

      • Anon E Moose

        I meant the editor-in-chief and his associates/comrades. First, they disagree with the suit to repeal the Hughes Amendment (because their collections would be worth less than they currently are), but now they appeal to nanny state mentality by pulling an article that has little connection to the IRA.

        • Dan

          Ah, my mistake, carry on

  • Squirreltakular

    Someone save us from the Brady Bunch. I would love to see all the reactions of pro-gun people that they had to cut from their footage.

  • Zachary marrs

    Really tfb?


    are you going to pull all the posts with military surplus rifles for the same reason?

    What is this weak bullshit?

  • MR

    Somebody probably already mentioned this, but…
    click bait.

  • Gun Nut

    Lol! People this is freaking ridiculous. Let’s get back to talking about guns. If I get, “offended”, at least I know I,m alive and above ground which makes it a good day!

  • mriv959

    What about my Chenowith mounted G.E. minigun. It’s killed more people in Movies than can be counted…

  • Yeah. That’s why the French are having a cry about Belgium wanting to use a euro coin design that commemorates the battle of Waterloo, right?

  • Brian

    If you are to be cowed every time anyone got offended, then you should have become an anonymous doner to the Brady Campaign.

    In other news, anyone got a cached copy of the AR18 article.

  • LarryNC

    And while we are at it, why don’t we place a ban on guns made by Colt, S&W, Remington, Winchester, Sharps, etc. because white people owned and used those guns, in this country, while blacks were slaves and American Indians were being murdered with those guns. And we sure would not want to offend democrat Senators, democrat House members, our current democrat President and most of the citizens of the State of california and the City of new york. Thank you for allowing me to post this, and I hope that I have not offended anyone by not mentioning them. Thank you.

  • Mat

    And… When’s the re-post? It is no longer St Patrick’s day after all. Plus, won’t somebody please think of the Irish? They don’t have guns anymore. 🙁

    • David Sharpe

      Actually the Irish have relaxed their gun laws, they now have castle doctrine, but they still have to register their guns.

  • Tassiebush

    The trouble with a lot of comments here is the assumption by many it seems, that the population of Northern Ireland wants to be part of the Republic of Ireland and the British Empire won’t let them go. It’s like they’ve learnt all they know from watching Sons of Anarchy or something. In reality it is far more complicated mix of Catholics and Protestants who’ve been engaged in sporadic sectarian conflict for centuries. The vast majority of people in Northern Ireland were born there and protestants go back many generations. When some suggest driving the British out they are talking the ethnic cleansing of 50% or more of the population who’ve been there since the 1600s. It’d be even less reasonable than driving non Aboriginal people from Australia or non Maori from New Zealand. The place is a democracy albeit with the Gerrymander but voting patterns show a slight lean towards the Unionists with Republicans being only a short way behind.
    There isn’t a simplistic violent solution to their problems. They all deserve political representation and a peaceful democratic future.

    • Lee

      Probably the best post thus far.

      • Tassiebush


  • Mr Mxyzptlk

    I did say “arguably” so it is just an opinion, and a lot of commenter on the original article felt that this was the case so by definition this statement is correct. The original article made no mention of the IRA being a terrorist organisation (perhaps more of a sin of omission) but to some people that immediately gave the impression of a bias on the article. The only images shown were also staged IRA propaganda photos (the original purpose of which was to glorify the IRA and their cause). Lastly, the whole timing of the article didn’t help as it gives the impression of “Let’s celebrate St Patrick’s day by celebration the IRA use of the AR-18”.

    As for you opinion that people should not give a crap if something offends other then you are either lying or a straight up socio-path (you at least tick the “Callous unconcern for the feelings of others” box). If nobody cared if other people would be offended then the whole internet would just be 4chan.

    Lastly, if you didn’t like my comment why did you read it? Its exactly the same as me reading an article that had something I didn’t like and commenting on it, so why should different rules seemingly apply to me but not you?

  • David Sharpe

    So when is the article going to be put back up? It’s well past St. Paddy’s Day, so where is it?

  • dannye

    So where’s the article, now that everyone is done drinking green beer? Or is TFB like those old crotchety Vietnam vets ranting about how anyone who owns an AK is a traitor?

  • A Critic

    Many of the firearms featured here are used by state terrorists.

    At least your censorship is incomplete and I was able to read the article with ease.

    Also, St. Paddys is an American holiday celebrating an Englishman…what does that have to do with the IRA or the AR-18?

    • balorevileye

      Actually St. Paddys day is an Irish holiday celebrating a man from Wales but I agree that March 17th (St Paddys Day) has nothing to do with the IRA or any other firearm. If people are so cranky now, we cannot discuss Ak’s because of their use by the Taliban and ISIS and Ak’s again and M4’s by ISIS. I cannot understand why a British soldier would be so sensitive about an article about St. Paddys day about a weapon used by the IRA. FAL’s were used to massacre the civil rights victims in Derry but people (British soldiers) pulled the trigger, the guns by themselves didn’t murder ten innocent people

  • Jason

    Wrong move here. Just becuase someone has a particular issue with a certain type of gun, or person using the gun doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be covered. I think your timing was certainly appropriate givten that St. Patrick’s Day is when most Americans choose to celebrate their Irish heritage (if not just do a bit of day drinking) and that whether good or bad encompasses “the Troubles” of the 20th century and the causes championed by the IRA, et al.

    If we keep similar logic in force, anything of the AK family can not be posted basically at any time due to almost continuous anniversaries of battles during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

    Please continue to write the blog we know and love.

  • Franco

    Tell them to quit being such a puss. Maybe if they weren’t they would still have some civilian gun rights

  • MikeF

    I think the TFB article complaints can be best summed up by two words.

    Too Soon?

    the same way the Brits were unofficially on the same side as the
    Loyalists, A lot of Americans were seen to be on the side of the Provos,
    sympathetically any way.

    I saw a lot of money raised for the IRA in South Boston in the 1980s.

    Its a sore subject with the Brits, akin to seeing Palestinians in the street celebrating after 9/11.

    I think the article should have stayed, and the comments deleted.

  • MrBT

    From what I understand it was the spin on the title and the day that it was published that were both inappropriate for the article. Now that St. Patty’s Day is over, can you simply change the title and please re-post?

  • cawpin

    Removing a post simply because somebody was offended is ridiculous, regardless of the reason they were offended, timing or not.

    This was a mistake and I’m very disappointed that TFB would take this action.

  • Matt

    I really don’t get all of the apologies that are demanded by people with such delicate sensibilities these days. You just can’t please everybody and realizing that there should be no need to say you’re sorry for upsetting the smallest minority of the reader base. People need to get over it as if they get bent out of shape over an article or picture then how can they handle something genuinely serious???

  • Vorant

    This whole issue with apologizing because some a$$wipe complains offends me….

  • ghost

    Sensitive people should not read, watch TV, use computers, or mingle with the general public.

  • Martin Frank

    I cant believe you took the post down. A brit offended about St. Patricks day shouldnt matter to begin with. Also this is an american website i believe he does not understand freedom of speech. Still a gun killed somebody once and i like living so i am offended, you might as well take down the whole site. Ill write a letter, i swear. Dont make me do it.

  • Richard Lutz

    Readers might like to know there was an IRA song named ‘My Little Armalite’ that you can listen to on YouTube.

  • Sulaco

    They can search for a lot less reasons than that, the BBC tax man for instance that can enter your home to check and make sure you have paid your TV tax…

  • Core

    Understanding history and the weapons our enemies use is critical to learn and adapt to overcome the enemy. The study of small arms is critical to developing tactical intelligence threat assessments. The only thing I feel should not be covered by media is images and video of executions and demands; I think the last thing we should do is give them fuel for the fire and the mainstream media does a fantastic job of giving the terrorist scum bags a pulpit to preach from. If the UK would allow its citizens freedom to openly study and embrace firearms, all citizens would realize how many times national gun grabs have backfired. Do you feel safer? I know generations of my family have sent our rifles across the pond when the English discovered they should have allowed citizens to possess arms. The IRA may be considered terrorists by the US and UK governments, but you have to remember all it takes is one tyrant and you may be a radical some day. Our forefathers developed a Constitution and Bill of Rights that allows Americans to stand up to tyranny in our own governments should the day come.