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

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!