You would think that we have enough issues with a lawless President and vain anti-gun billionaires attacking gun owners, but Guns & Ammo apparently thinks that fratricidal lawfare should be waged against a gun blog over a post that disparaged their “First Look” coverage of the new Taurus Curve pistol.
The blog post in question used several Guns & Ammo photos, and criticized what they felt was a puff piece by G&A.
The gun blog, “Guns Save Life” seems to have made several factual errors while blasting G&A.
Their blog post originally stated that the Curve is striker-fired (it is double-action only). They have since corrected that error.
It also asserts that the Curve is “unsafe” due to a lack of iron sights. While a lack of sights may make it more difficult to aim, a lack of iron sights does not make the gun mechanically “unsafe.”
But these factual inaccuracies aside, the major “beef” G&A seems to have with Guns Save Life is the use of G&A images and what they called “slander” according to the following threat that Guns Save Life says that they received via Facebook.
To Whom it May Concern,
Regarding your website’s illegal use of our photography and slanderous statements about our publication (Guns & Ammo), you have until Nov. 21, 2014 at 8 a.m. CT to remove all content from your website that was stolen and/or improperly quoting our publication.
If the material is not removed by that time, we will seek legal action immediately.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Online Shooting Editor
2 News Plaza
Peoria, IL 61614
The “slander” is apparently in reference to an assertion in the Gun Saves Life post that Guns & Ammo gave favorable coverage to the Curve because Taurus gave Guns & Ammo a large amount of advertising dollars.
Upon reading it, we couldn’t help but think back to that fictional CQB MK-V Tactical Destroyer review and wonder if a similar discussion took place between Guns & Ammo executives and the writers. “Hey man, Taurus has inked a huge ad contract with us for the next few months to promote this new pistol they’ve come out with called ‘The Curve’. Can you take it out and write something up as a feature article to go with the cover photo we’re going to do for them?”
As we at Guns Save Life receive zero dollars in ad revenues from Taurus USA, we’re going to call a turd a turd.
The Guns & Ammo “First Look”article was undoubtedly a “puff piece,” playing up all of the Curve’s positive attributes without providing even a fig leaf of constructive criticism of the new and controversial design. It was so obviously an “edvertisement” (editoral advertisement) that we even felt compelled to describe it as “a thoroughly shameful tongue bath.”
Perhaps G & A will go after us as well for our opinion.
If they do, however, I hope that get a lawyer who understands the difference between libel and slander, and also understands what the legal requirements are to win either type of case.
While Guns Save Life obviously thinks that G&A may have questionable editorial ethics, they did present their statement (“and wonder if…”) as a clear hypothetical, and it isn’t remotely legally actionable.
The use of photos (I presently see three) would likewise seem to be covered under fair use doctrine as criticism, comment, and news reporting.
Guns & Ammo may be quite upset with the way that Guns Save Life chose to characterize their “First Look” article on the Curve, but their amateurish threats deserve all the scorn the Internet is presenting heaping upon the magazine, and its publisher, Intermedia Outdoor.
When you chose to write for a living, you will be criticized. Some of that criticism will be fair. Some of it won’t. Little of it falls into the realm of libel or slander, and on those rare occasions where there is libel or slander (and this isn’t it), it typically isn’t worthwhile to pursue in terms of time, money, or publicy.
Adults understand that, and learn to adapt.
If they can’t, they should consider another line of work.
* phone numbers removed to prevent harassment.