After 10 and a half years running TFB, I am finally retiring from blogging. It has been a wild ride. I started a tiny blog in 2007, on a whim because I was shooting or hunting almost everyday, then watching it grow into a team of 25 writers and become the most read gun blog by a wide margin in 2017 is just incredible.
I started TFB during a Golden Age of Guns, triggered by the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expiring. The industry exploded with pent up ideas and energy. It was an exciting time to be a scrappy young blogger. I witnessed the industry change greatly from being internet-hostile industry to one that embraces new media. It was a hard battle to change hearts and minds, but we won. I remember my early wins such as getting an interview with Drake at Magpul about the Masada and the sheer exhaustion of my first SHOT Show.
I am proud of TFB’s “Guns not Politics” slogan and philosophy which has survived 10 years of temptation to dabble in politics for those quick and easy page view gains. The sheer amount of web traffic generated by political dramas and gun-related tragedies is staggering, but we held fast to our philosophy.
Enough about me. What really matters in this world? It’s the people, it’s the people, it’s the people.
As I write this paragraph my eyes are teary. TFB has not been about me for a very long time. This team of writers, past and present, are what made TFB. The TFB Team spans the globe, with a writer on every continent but Antartica. I dearly love our team members. They are elite, hardworking, intelligent and really good people. We are a tightly knit team have celebrated each others successes, and supported each other in hard times. It has been my honor and my privilege to have led them. They collectively deserve the credit for what we built together. I will miss working with them greatly.
There are so many of you, I cannot name you all without fear of missing someone out and causing offense, but I can’t help but repeat my thanks to Phil White, my trusty comrade and friend.
I have not forgotten about you, our readers. Without you, TFB would be nothing. The TFB community is one of the best, if not the best, communities online. It includes so many knowledgeable gun folk and lacks the vitriol present in so many other internet communities. It has been a pleasure in getting to know so many of you over the years.
What about the future of TFB? Phil and my own transition has been in the works for months now and I am extremely grateful to the owners of TFB for allowing me the rare privilege of choosing our successors. These are all good men, the kind of men I would trust my life with, men who I know I can trust TFB with. They are:
Doc Rader – Who is taking my role as Editor in Chief. Doc has a fantastic vision for TFB, with the knowledge and experience to back it up. Doc will also head a new sister site being launched soon.
James Reeves – James is taking on the role of Executive Producer of TFBTV, which is an Editor-level position at TFB. As co-founder of TFBTV, James has been instrumental in building the channel.
Pete M. – Pete is taking on the role of Managing Editor. He partly succeed both Phil White and myself. Pete will be in charge of handling firearm reviews. I know Pete will do a great job.
Lastly, I cannot thank everyone, but I want to thank a few people who helped me right at the start:
Ed Friedman, Editor in Chief of Shooting Illustrated – Thank you for all the help and support in the early days.
Saysuncle – My inspiration for TFB.
REMOV – You taught me so much. I owe you a lot.
Sebastian – For all the comradeship in the early days.
Tam – Whose views on firearms shaped mine.
D, D, D, D, S & J – Who won’t want to be named, but gave me so much support.
So farewell TFB readers, I will not forget you!
Phil White writes …
I share Steves feeling that we were an unlikely duo 8 years ago when we started working together. As it turns out we made a good team and worked well together for all those years. The mutual respect and cooperation between us made working together a pleasure. I am truly privileged and honoured to have worked with Steve and see TFB and TFBTV grow so much.
Steve has always been committed to being honest in all his dealings with the staff as well as our readers. He is very well thought of in our industry for those traits and the innovation he has brought to the firearm industry. Steve broke a lot of new ground for firearm related blogs which has benefitted many other blogs and will continue to even though he is changing careers.
Steve started the slogan TFB has lived by for all these years and that is “Firearms not Politics”. He has always wanted TFB to be a place a parent could feel safe allowing their youngsters to visit and learn about our hobby without being subjected to racism, hatred and foul language. I know it’s worked because I’ve gotten emails from readers who allow their children to read TFB without much worry about them being subjected to all of the above topics we both felt had no place on TFB. Those readers owe Steve a debt of gratitude for creating this atmosphere.
Steve has always strived to present fair and honest product reviews and not take a dime for any product reviewed. It was true at the start and remains true today. Steve has also made sure that TFB is a leader in daily firearm industry news presented to our readers so they can keep up to date on the new products coming out and other topics of interest.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in what he has done for the blogging community. He will surely be missed by our TFB writing staff as well as the staff of TFBTV which Steve also started and succeeded building.
I’ll miss working with him on a daily basis but I know we’ll always stay in touch as lifelong friends. TFB and TFBTV is in good hands with Pete taking my position, Tom Rader taking Steves job and James is taking over TFBTV. You, the readers, couldn’t be in better hands.
Steve you will be missed!