In the real world, grown men can politely disagree and still be friends. Online, depending on whose comments you were reading, you would have been forgiven for thinking Sean from TXMGO and myself at TFB had some huge beef. Nothing could be further from the truth. I simply disagreed with, and questioned the wisdom of, Sean’s marketing strategy. Despite my disagreement I really like Sean’s passion for the firearm industry and his desire to shake things up.
Both Sean and I have both been venerated by some for our opinion on this matter and simultaneously demonized by others online. Meanwhile in the real world Sean and the team here at TFB (Phil, Katie and myself) get along just fine with mutual respect.
Here is Sean’s response …
Firstly I want thank Steve for the opportunity to respond to his post about my company, Texas Machine-Gun & Ordnance (TXMGO). I wish I would have been asked for comment before the piece ran, but bygones are bygones; and this isn’t the start of some stupid Kayne West style feud between TXMGO and the TFB.
So yeah, we were the guys selling pipebombs at the High-Caliber Gunshow in Houston this weekend. It’s been rather entertaining to read the responses to Steve’s article. According to some folks on ar15.com, I’m apparently the anti-Christ, sent by Hillary to justify Jade Helm, and the rounding up of everyone’s guns. While conversely, I seem to be venerated as a deity of NFAAF, who “sticks it to the man” in other realms of the Internet.
I write this knowing full well that a sizable chunk of those reading it, are going to hate what I do, no matter what I say or do; and that’s fine. I’m not going to waste time calling them names; or accusing them of being whatever silly nonsense the daily Facebook witch-trials pronounce people guilty of, to of course be followed by the ritual burning-at-the-stake, for the greater glory of the online, groupthink echo-chamber. Instead I write this to people who have an open mind, and are bored with the NFA game being the same boring things since 1934.
When I look at the firearms industry today, I’m bored to tears. I see everyone doing the exact same thing. There’s a million guns stores across America (half of which always seem to have at least one “operator” behind the counter telling epic war stories) all peddling the same damn things. You go to gunshows, and it is also the same damn things at every table. The NFA game isn’t any different. It is just Suppressors, SBSs, SBRs, a few folks with transferable MGs at obscene prices, and then those mysterious Destructive Devices hardly anyone has.
Around the same time I realized how boring the gun industry is; I also realized that ever since I left the Army, I hadn’t really given a shit about any of the jobs I’d had. I was bored with life, bored with guns, and needed something new. So I quit my job, took pretty much every penny I have, and threw it into this crazy idea called Texas Machine-Gun & Ordnance, a Type 10, Manufacturer of Destructive Devices FFL; and Type 20, Manufacturer of Explosives FEL.
Yes, TXMGO does want to rock the boat in the firearms industry. I haven’t blown my life savings to play it safe, open “Sean’s Lame Gun Store”, and do what everyone else is doing, by peddling what amount to commodity items for people to come look at, then buy off gunbroker for $20 less. Not no, but hell no. There’s a pretty good chance we are going to fail at this, I’ll end up broke, and I’ll be in dire need of a “real job”. But I can live with that. I have failed at plenty of things in life, and I have yet to die from failure. If we are to fail at this though, I hope we fail spectacularly trying to do something big and bold.
We want to shake up the game, and do what hasn’t been done before. This isn’t part of some ideological crusade to “stick it to the man”; or arm up against the ATF’s ubiquitous black helicopters, so many members of ar15.com seem think are waiting to come after them for shouldering a Sig Brace. We are doing this so people have more options in the firearms marketplace.
While everyone is getting all wound up on the 100% legal, NFA registered pipebombs we are selling as novelty items; they missed the reusable Molotov Cocktail, affordably priced 60mm mortar, recoilless rifle, and other projects we are working on to bring something new to market for the law-abiding citizen. This is in addition to us working to build a facility for us to offer people the chance to come and literally blow shit up, and shoot exotic weaponry.
TXMGO isn’t a rogue arms-dealer, 3%’r wannabes arming up to fight off ChiCom paratroopers jumping into downtown Houston, political extremist group, or any of the more colorful things that have been said about us. Instead we are a veteran owned-and-operated company; composed of people who have sworn an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Part of supporting the Constitution, is following the rule-of-law, which we do by obsessively following all laws and regulations related to our industry.
To prevent this from turning from a response into a manifesto, I’d like to address some of the legitimate concerns that have been brought up about what we’re doing.
Yes, getting a pipebomb or a reusable Molotov Cocktail is absurd. But let’s not lie to ourselves. Almost all the guns and NFA items we buy are for fun and for us to enjoy, not some practical purpose. So you have to ask yourself if having a 100% legal pipebomb or a reusable Molotov Cocktail is any more absurd than having 5 different ARs, a transferable machine-gun, or a suppressor you only shoot at a public range where you have to wear ear protection anyways?
Yes, someone could legally buy a pipebomb from us, and commit a crime with it. But do you really think the next Unabomber is going to file a Form 4, pay a $200 tax stamp, and wait 5-6 months for ATF approval? Or do you think they’ll just go to Home Depot, and buy what they need?
And finally yes, my selling unusual Destructive Devices can be twisted by the media into the narrative of gun owners being crazed nutsjobs. But we have already let them establish that narrative by not policing up our own. When you read most gun forums, there’s plenty of people frothing at the mouth, accusing their fellow Americans of being traitors, communists, poop-heads, and of not crying when Old Yeller died. Instead of responding to our our political opponents’ emotional, irrational, and patently absurd arguments with calmly presented facts, reason, and evidence; we respond with hysterics, stupid memes with fake Founding Father quotes, 1/2 truths, and angry ramblings about taking on the guv’ment with our AR-15s and the 100 or so rounds we have on hand. That kind of nonsense is why the media can cast us a nutcases, because we often act like ones.
Anyways to conclude this response, if you disagree with what we are doing, that’s fine. Reasonable people can disagree about just about everything, and we respect your right to disagree with us. We will keep doing what we are doing, and making every effort we can to be the most law-abiding FFL and FEL in the country.
Thank you for reading this. And thank you once again to Steve for allowing us the opportunity to respond. We hope to work with TFB in the future.