4 years, 7 months ago
In the most recent volume (paper copy only), Jerry Tsai writing for RECOIL magazine waxes on about the H&K MP7A1 and how it’s a good thing that it isn’t available to civilians (h/t Loose Rounds):
“Like we mentioned before, the MP7A1 is unavailable to civilians and for good reason. We all know that’s technology no civvies should ever get to lay their hands on. This is a purpose-built weapon with no sporting applications to speak of. It is made to put down scumbags, and that’s it. Mike Cabrera of Heckler & Koch Law Enforcement Sales and veteran law enforcement officer with SWAT unit experience points out that this is a gun that you do not want in the wrong, slimy hands. It comes with semi-automatic and full-auto firing modes only. Its overall size places it between a handgun and submachine gun. Its assault rifle capabilities and small size make this a serious weapon that should not be taken lightly.”
The reaction has been so intense within the firearms community that Jerry has issued an “apology” on behalf of RECOIL.
I’d like to address the comments regarding what I wrote in the MP7A1 article in RECOIL issue 4. First and foremost, I’d like to apologize for any offense that I have caused with the article. With the benefit of hindsight, I now understand the outrage, and I am greatly saddened that it was initiated by my words. Especially since, I am an unwavering supporter of 2nd Amendment Rights. I’ve chosen to spend a significant part of both my personnel and professional life immersed in this enthusiasm, so to have my support of individuals’ rights called into doubt is extremely unfortunate. With that said, I retract what I wrote in the offending paragraph within this article. It should have had been presented with more clarity.
In the article, I stated some information that was passed on to me about why the gun is not available for civilian purchase. By no means did I intend to imply that civilians are not responsible, nor do we lack the judgment to own such weapons, if I believed anything approaching this, clearly I would lead a much different life. I also mentioned in the article that the gun had no sporting purpose. This again, was information passed on to me and reported in the article without the necessary additional context. I believe everything published in RECOIL up to this point (other than this story), demonstrates we clearly understand and completely agree that guns do not need to have a sporting purpose in order for them to be rightfully available to civilians. In retrospect, I should have presented this information in a clearer manner. Although I can understand the manufacturer’s stance on the subject, it doesn’t mean that I agree with it.
Again, I acknowledge the mistakes I made and for them I am truly sorry.
It isn’t so much the lousy apology from Jerry that’s ridiculous, it’s also the ignorant nature of the comment itself. Whether he intended it or was misled to include this statement because H&K persuaded him, if he is really knowledgeable about firearms he wouldn’t have written the statement at all except to lampoon it.
While ATF lawyers might disagree, for something to have a “sporting purpose” means nothing more than it can be taken to the range and operated by the owner to his or her entertainment or training. The shooting skills – whether for official competitions such as IDPA or 3-Gun, or for unofficial activities such as regular range visits for the purpose of betterment at the science of firearms operation – are sports. All of them. Period. This is non-negotiable. If it is a firearm, it has a sporting purpose.
Next, all weapons can be used to “put down scumbags,” and you don’t want any of them in the “wrong, slimy hands.” If Jerry’s comments are ignorant, these comments are offensive. The elitist mentality with law enforcement versus civilians is why readers at reddit/guns are so outraged (see here, here, here and here).
Basically, anything that law enforcement has I should be able to have. As for the practical uses of an AR, see my Do We Have A Constitutional Right To Own An AR, where I document multiple examples of two, three, four and five-man home invasions (see also No One Needs ARs for Self Defense Or Hunting?).
Finally, while it is rather odd to see firearms periodicals edited by people ignorant of firearms, there is the additional problem of H&K. Their MP5s and MP7s have long been unavailable to the civilian population of the U.S. My own view is that military personnel learn to live with whatever they are given and trained to use. Failures are merely things to overcome.
But a weapon or weapon system can’t really be considered to be tested and fully vetted until it is released to the American civilian market and reviewed by enough shooters to cause the word-of-mouth feedback loop to increase or decrease sales. Money changing hands is the real firearms review and testing. It’s easy to design weapons for people who are ordered to use them. It’s much more difficult to design them for people who have a choice.
As for H&K, I’m disappointed in their attitude. A few months ago I had considered overlooking their elitist mentality in order to purchase that nice looking H&K tactical 9mm. Not any longer. They have lost any potential business they would have gotten from me. There are enough good manufacturers (Springfield Armory, Smith & Wesson, Rock River Arms, Ruger, etc.) that I don’t need H&K. Perhaps I’ll reconsider when they learn to appreciate the civilian market.
UPDATE: Thanks to friend David Codrea for the attention.