Intro by Paul Helinski
Rather than try to edit the essay intro that was here to reflect the fact that Frank and I finally spoke, I am going to just rewrite what has come out since the original aired. The comments below will stay as is.
If you haven’t seen the “blogger” stories on the case, the basic story is that an anonymous video was posted on YouTube, embedded here, beating up the workmanship of rifles from TacticalRifles.net. As you can see in the comments below, Frank Galli completely denies any involvement whatsoever. The video goes on to explain about some imperfections in the plastic of the stock on the gun, then they demonstrate wobbling that is clearly done at the end of tapered barrel threads, where any barrel will and should be wobbling. Then it goes on to admit that the rifle is 1/2MOA, which would be impossible without top notch workmanship, methods and materials. At the very least, the video should have had an introduction explaining that the gun had a prior history and that messages were exchanged between the customer and Tactical Rifles.
The Truth About the gun is that it was bought over 4 years ago, and the customer recently contacted David Rooney to pay over $1,000 to pay for work that the customer had done on his own volition. When David refused to pay, this video was the result and it’s clearly a hit piece. The gun is still 1/2MOA of course, and I had David look up the original test of the gun. On the 100yd test target the group size was .172” with Federal Gold Medal. This was done back in November of 2008.
This is where my conversation with Frank Galli of the Snipers Hide has influenced my ongoing understanding of the story and why things have played out the way they have.
The Truth About the lawsuit is that David has an entire binder of “proof” that The Snipers Hide has been perceived as dogging Tacrifles for years. Now it has come out that David had actually sent Snipers Hide a lawyer letter back in 2010, demanding that they take down the negative posts, so they did. For some time after that, no mention of TR was allowed on the website. When David would send in his happy customers, they would be turned away in one way, shape, or form. For quite some time now, Frank dropped that policy and allowed both positive and negative comments to be published about TR.
The only points of the story that Frank and David seem to vehemently disagree about is whether David’s account was ever deleted from SH. As you will see in my comments below, I feel that it was a long time ago and that either could be true. Frank may very well be correct that David confused his account on another site with an account on Snipers Hide that he never created. There are other possible explanations, but Frank’s is the most plausible.
The popularity on Snipers Hide of this hit video was the last straw in a long history between David Rooney and the Snipers Hide. My take is that if you empathize with David a little, it is easy to add up a whole string of different and unconnected dots into a picture that looks like Frank had something out for Tactical Rifles. After speaking with Frank for some time, I was clear with him that though I do wish we had spoken at the very latest on Sunday (I will take the blame for it), I think there is an important nuance to this case that goes beyond just removing posts as a forum moderator. We remove all kinds of nasty and mean comments, as do all forums and blogs.
David’s article and the comments will be left below intact for everyone to make their own judgement. I am deeply sorry to Frank for his perception that word “parasite” was in any way directed toward him. It was not, and I will explain it more clearly. There are a few “bloggers” in our gun world that latch themselves onto negative stories just to stir up a bees nest and take credit for it. Their stories are then quoted by dozens of other bloggers, and those stories stay there forever so that when you Google someone or something, those stories dominate the landscape. These people are the “parasites” and should be ostracized from our community. Dick Metcalf was the latest victim of this, and he was too proud and probably afraid of further repercussions to call out who really owned the article that he wrote.
My article on Friday was meant to nip the cascade of bad press for Tactical Rifles in the bud, and it worked. In this case both parties mostly agree on the facts, and they are just viewing them in different ways. It is a dumb lawsuit and could have been prevented with some communication. Lawyers love egos. As many have said below, we shouldn’t be wasting our time on it, and this is where my time on it ends. -Paul Helinski@GA
TR: Setting the Record Straight!
by David Rooney
After more than a decade of building high precision custom rifles, we were recently forced to file a Federal Lawsuit against a web forum. For the past two years, this forum owner has embarked on a campaign to smear the good name of Tactical Rifles (TR). We don’t understand the intent behind this unprovoked attack, particularly as cohesion within this industry is vital for the protection of the Second Amendment.
There comes a point at which the dirty tricks can longer be tolerated. The following are examples of documented abuse:
Allowing supporting companies of the forum to maintain multiple screen names so that anytime TR is mentioned, these companies can pose as dissatisfied customers;
- Deleting our account so we could not respond to posts;
- Deleting positive posts from our customers;
- Sending private messages to people who post positive comments, threatening them with expulsion from the forum and lifetime bans;
- Promoting a fabricated video of a 4 year old rifle that was part of a third party’s attempt to extort monies from us.
- Misleading people into believing that the forum has reviewed one of our rifles with unsatisfactory results, when they have never been sent a TR rifle in any capacity.
Now, in what seems an attempt to further mislead his forum visitors and to extract money from them under false pretenses, the forum is posting that we are suing them to suppress their First Amendment Rights. This is a distortion. The intent of the lawsuit is to bring a halt to the malicious skewing of the truth, thus protecting First Amendments Rights.
We believe strongly in supporting all of our Constitutional Freedoms. We support the NRA, having donated money, rifles, and written articles for them. We seek unity within the industry, as the enemies of our Freedoms revel in our division; however we cannot tolerate abuse of our good name by bullies hiding behind the anonymity of the internet. For all of those who have contacted us with support, we thank you sincerely. To those who have only been exposed to the one-sided falsehoods promoted by this forum, we encourage you to seek the truth prior to formulating an opinion. That is the very Freedom we celebrate in this Great Country