TYR Tactical

The News

Despite assertions to the contrary, I do not sit around plotting to ruin people’s lives with SSD. Actually, people seem to do a pretty good job of doing that on their own. This isn’t a gossip site, so the bar for what gets posted is pretty high. Generally, the personalities you read about on SSD make a living by showing off their mug at every opportunity, They’re always so pleased to see their latest accomplishment posted on the site, but they get upset when their buffoonery makes it as well. It’s not like we publish every little rumor. They’ve got to really work for the recognition.

It’s not just individuals. We write about companies as well, and sometimes those companies, including our advertisers, get themselves in a bind. I know many of these folks and it can be tough. There can be pressure, internal as well as external, to ignore something, or to say something. Sometimes, I hold off because I’m not comfortable with the facts. Other times, the facts are laid bare, for all to see, and are so obvious that my integrity would be questioned if I didn’t post an article.

Regardless if the subject is an individual or a brand, rarely am I judgemental with those in industry, even when I probably should be. I do have a habit of holding government and its officials to a higher standard though. After all, they serve the public trust and use our tax dollars.

I hear the complaints all the time about how unfair a story was, but generally, what they’re really mad about are the comments. Those are an interesting barometer of how much someone messed up and they can strike a nerve. Comments are both the strength and the weakness of social media. I do monitor them and some are deleted due to their sheer spite. Although, many are left in place, perhaps to fester. Comments is where people lose focus. They confuse comments made by semi-anonymous posters, with SSD’s position on the matter. Often, we don’t have one, or we keep it to ourselves.

Over the past month, we have published two posts in particular, which raised controversy. In neither case was there any external pressure before we published. The decision was completely mine. However, in both cases, once the stories were live, there was a great deal of pressure to alter them or delete them altogether. In both instances, we were accused of trying to ruin someone or their business. The thing is, we were just sharing the facts.  People were mad at SSD, for sharing the facts.  

The bottom line: If you get yourself in the headlines, you’re now the news, and SSD runs the news.

-Eric Graves

48 Responses to “The News”

  1. Jambo says:

    I’m more surprised that you deleted the story, as there was nothing life-ruining about it, quite the opposite. I understand you have to deal with people from the industry and they might be more sensitive, but hear me out.

    The video, when put in context was attempting to illustrate why he prefers to run the safety closed on the AK instead of doing these workarounds for supposed “speed”. When you put it into context, that ND was an illustration of exactly what he says might happen when you leave the safety open. I have the DVD, so this is how I know.

    The video is still out there, so it’s not like this can be deleted from history. The video itself would have probably benefited from being put into proper context.

  2. J.D. says:

    Eric, regardless of the drama and people’s butthurtishness, thanks for doing what you do. SSD has been and will continue to be one of my go to sources for timely and accurate info.

  3. TMedina says:

    Yessir.

  4. MK262 MOD1 says:

    There’s a reason this site is the first thing I read in the morning and the last at night. For anyone remotely connected to the military / government industrial juggernaut or the firearms community, this is the best one-stop-shop for relevant and trustworthy information that often is not available anywhere else. It’s run with FAR less bias than I could ever pull off. The comments are very frequently from folks with obviously legitimate backgrounds and input. Of course there will always be derpster trolls as well but some of those are just damned funny too.
    What would breakfast be, without SSD?

  5. Whitney says:

    I never saw the video but with my new government posting, it makes it hard to find time to sleep some days, but I like SSD for the sheer fact that you put out the information in a non-biased way as much as you can. With that said, everyone has an opinion just like an asshole, they usually stink. However, This is a forum for all aspects to be heard-whether it be negative or positive. SSD needs to keep up the great work and continue to give the layman an insight to the wonderful world of “All things Tacticool”. Thank you for your webpage and if you guys served-Thank you for my Freedom.

    Respectively,

    A fellow Veteran.

  6. Given how we all lament the fact that the mainstream news in general is fast and loose with the facts (especially when it comes to guns), I can’t see why anyone would protest something that is based on fact. Makes a nice change surely.

  7. james says:

    Eric,

    Thank you for reporting what is new and interesting in our industry. You do a fantastic job…period! Keep up the great work and I look forward to seeing out and about at the next trade show!

  8. Steve says:

    You live by publicity, you die by publicity. Big boy rules–don’t like it, go find another job and stop whining like a little girl.

  9. the dude says:

    SSD RUNS THE NEWS

  10. PLiner says:

    Eric, thank you for being a stand up guy and having the intestinal fortitude to call it like you see it and for sticking to your standards and integrity in reporting industry news.

  11. Steve says:

    Interesting post. Once again, SSD is transparent and consistent. In regards to the video, ND’s can happen to the very best. TH should own it and more importantly showcase that following all the fundamental safety rules averted potential disaster.

  12. ARman says:

    For the most part I like the reporting on this website. Despite your saying you try to avoid gossip, sometimes it feels like that with the WTF moments and such. How is TH’s ND SSD worthy? Less petty and useless crap and more Soldier Systems reporting, please. Otherwise, it’ll start to become like other sites.

  13. sam says:

    It’s not always wine and roses… the evolution of social media has lead to living and breathing brands, which only serves to strengthen and better product offerings for all of us. Gone are the days where a brand was solely what it said it was. People help to create and determine how effective a brand/business is through these comments. As a proprietor, it’s up to you how you choose to respond to real life feedback. Gotta love it.

  14. Reverend says:

    “The bottom line: If you get yourself in the headlines, you’re now the news, and SSD runs the news.”

    It’s why I read. You’re doing a more factual job than others.

  15. GW says:

    That Video is the tip of this issue. I am sorry that you ran into turbulence over reporting the news. The mainstream media tells us what they want us to know happened and then how we should feel about it. I want someone to tell me what happened, I can make up my own mind as to how I feel based on FACTS.
    SSD peels back the curtain on some individuals and Businesses that have stubbed their toe in our industry. It happens, sometimes to good guys that have walked into a media minefield, and sometimes its a company that has been running at the front of the pack, been rough on others in the industry, and there is some satisfaction felt over the unfortunate circumstances.
    SSD RUNS THE NEWS!! Run it Brother RUN IT!

  16. txJM says:

    Bravo.

  17. sam says:

    RUNS the news.

  18. Craig says:

    I almost commented on the TH thread, but I’ll say it here. ND’s happen, even COL Cooper experienced one, in his living room if I remember the story correctly. He was showing off a pistol to someone, saying it was his favorite, took aim at an old fashioned gas pump outside and proceeded to put a round into it accidentally.

    I experienced one with an AT4 trainer, shooting a 9mm tracer round, the safety was super hard to press down but the trigger was super light, so as I was struggling with it I ended up putting the round into the tree line at the base of the hill that the targets were on.

    • Bill says:

      IIRC correctly, the Colonel had one at a trade show or conference. While I don’t fall into the school of thought that “There are two types of shooters – those that have had NDs and those that will,” they come with the territory, particular as the opportunity increases when your are launching 10s of thousands of rounds a year. Its akin to stepping on the gas instead of the brake. I’m not sure it’s “news” in the general sense, unless there are reports on everyone who ever does it. On the other hand, if it occurred under unusual circumstances that offer a takeaway or teachable moment for other trainers or shooters, then it might be news. Not knowing the context in which this happened makes it hard to determine.

      The there are always those people who will bust a nut when someone more skilled or knowledgable than them has a screwup.

  19. Glen says:

    I’m amazed at how casual you US folk seem to treat an “ND” at least it seems you got away from “AD” / “Accidental Discharge” terminology, that appears to be a step up. In the Australian Army an “Un-authorised Discharge” is a chargeable offence even if it involves blank ammunition. It will be fully investigated and if you are found guilty the penalties are harsh. As a result ND/AD/UD events are exceedingly rare relative to the amount of day to day weapons handling that takes place.

    • Brando says:

      An ND will get you kicked out of a unit you busted your ass to get into.

    • Ross says:

      Mmm. Much as I love you Ausies, if you spend enough time around guns in stressful situations (whether induced or as the result of actual combat) you will experience NDs/ADs. That is: pressing the trigger when you were not supposed to or planned to. Guaranteed that in training ND’s/ADs can be induced … seen it.

    • Mac says:

      Bro, from a Kiwi did you just go there?

    • Dev says:

      I’ve been in for a couple of years now. How many people have actually been charged for an ND or AD?

      Also if you’ve never ever had one in your entire career. You’re either lying, never been in a stressful situation, or never actually had serious firearms training. Or any combination of the above.

  20. Mk43Mod0 says:

    “It’s not just individuals. We write about companies as well, and sometimes those companies, including our advertisers, get themselves in a bind. I know many of these folks and it can be tough. There can be pressure, internal as well as external, to ignore something, or to say something. Sometimes, I hold off because I’m not comfortable with the facts. Other times, the facts are laid bare, for all to see, and are so obvious that my integrity would be questioned if I didn’t post an article.”

    Not to take a cheapshot here—because I enjoy this site very much for what it is—but this quote shows the truly aggravating and utterly noobian level of firearms industry reporting as a whole.

    The more you call focus to subjects like this, the more obvious it is that you have absolutely no formal journalism training.

    True journalists should attempt, at all costs, to remain unbiased. And if you were doing real journalism, here, then the advertising and reporting would be handled separately. That’s rule number one.

    Not to pick on just SSD, though; this is everyone. I can’t think of any site in the firearms industry whom are truly out there, serving as a part of the fourth estate. Every single site & forum today has some type of agenda. Whether it is to push sales and promote their little circle of friends/brands (who shall remain untouchable and beyond critique), or for other, often far more sinister reasons… it’s happening. And it’s not hard to figure out which personalities are affiliated with which sites because there are so few “power cliques” who circulate within this industry. (Just read some posts by key members, check ad banners and note the hosted articles for a few months… you’ll get a pretty good picture of who’s supporting what.)

    But back on topic, everyone wants to think they are the NYT, WSJ or Washington Post of yesteryear, breaking news/balls at every corner, taking no damn prisoners and kicking some journalism ass… but the sad fact is no one is anywhere CLOSE to doing any actual reporting/investigative work.

    When 90% of your content is rewriting press releases, hosting other people’s articles/videos and posting photographs from various trade shows… I mean come on… that’s not real journalism. It’s just not. Sorry.

    My point?

    Be happy with what you’ve created—which is great, BTW—and run with it. Full speed ahead. But don’t kid yourself into thinking this is some kind of vault of truth for the firearms industry.

    • SSD says:

      It doesn’t seem like you know much about the media business, or SSD. In fact, that post was written specifically for folks who don’t know how any of this works.

      Separate advertising and editorial departments? Sure, but everywhere you go online, and in print, one drives the other. Here? I decide who gets to advertise. We turn them away all of the time. Whether or not someone advertises has zero bearing on whether they are written about. Take a look at gun magazines. Tell me that’s the case.

      There are no vaults of truth. There never have been. The media exists to either make money or further an agenda. Sometimes, both. I’ve done my part to hold government, and industry, accountable. That’s more than most can say.

      I don’t have a journalism degree, but I did serve as an intelligence officer in the military. That’s an even higher standard of integrity. If you fuck it up, missions fail and people die. A reporter gets it wrong? What’s the worst that happens? He gets to make it right the next day, or week, or month in a correction on page 6.

      • Mk43Mod0 says:

        I’m not going to divulge info on a public forum. But I definitely know a “thing or two” about the media business.

        Again, this is not an attack on your credibility but rather an observation of the online firearms reporting industry as a whole.

        Way, WAY too much croneyism happening. And at a significantly higher degree than any reputable newspaper.

        Sorry, it’s true. And sometimes it stings to admit when you put your relationships way, way ahead of the integrity of your news outlet. But at some point every journalist has those moments. Admitting them will only make you better at what you do.

        My point is this:

        Say what you want but the old boys club is alive and well. And some of them post here regularly. I’ve seen you vehemently defend them against valid criticism many times, which is something a good journalist ought to never get involved in.

        Anyways… again, I very much enjoy the site for what it is.

        • SSD says:

          You are insane if you think newspapers don’t defend their interests. What business does a newspaper have in endorsing a candidate for public office? Entire news networks have been created in order to further political agendas. It’s everywhere. You can vilify the gun press, but make sure you include the entire profession of journalism. No matter the subject, they’re getting it wrong.

          As for defending folks? Sure, when they’re right. I even write about people and companies I have zero interest in supporting. And, I’ll admit it when they are right.

          I’ll also admit to everyone that I don’t write everything I know. There’s nothing to be gained from telling everyone about an upcoming deal, or the secret sauce on how a company makes a product, or who I saw coming out of the wrong hotel room at SHOT Show.

    • Mike says:

      So what exactly is SSDs agenda then since you seem to know it all? Just would like to know because I have read SSD since the early web days and it’s about as neutrally factual as you can get.

  21. Joe says:

    ND’s should never happen, yet they do. When someone of Haley’s stature has one it drives home the point. When you do something stupid, and its filmed, and its made public, own it. Use your failures as a teachable moment, a lesson for others, those to proud to admit mistakes are doomed to repeat them.

    No one should feel compelled to shout out their flaws from the rooftops, but if they should come to light, well you got on the bull. Hang on buckle down and humble yourself.

    • Kurt says:

      I agree. This is where Haley could have been humble and accepted the fact that he is human and made a mistake. But had positive weapon control and safety aspects covered.

      On the flip side, you want to be a superstar and stay in the internet news constantly, expect your screw ups to be news too. Comes with the territory, but getting your people non stop online sending cease and desists and copyright infringement emails doesn’t further your cause, it makes you more of a whiner.

      And yes, to the wayyyy earlier poster…This site is the Drudge news site of firearms, lol

      • Mr_X says:

        It would be very erroneous to compare SSD to the Drudge Report – the latter of which is a true example of “cherry picked” news that often times supports Matt Drudge’s personal and political ideologies with sensationalist headlines and the presentation of a false narrative.

        SSD is a pussycat of neutrality in comparison.

        • Kurt says:

          You have to see the perfect irony of your comment about “cherry picked” news while the subject of this article is the deletion of an article to save face for someone. Kinda think irony huh.

          • Kurt says:

            P.S. I meant the drudge comment as a total compliment to SSD.

          • SSD says:

            I didn’t delete the article to save anyone. I deleted it because I didn’t have access to the linked video anymore. I have a feeling that will change soon though.

  22. Dave L says:

    Love what you do Eric, keep up the good work. I was particularly impressed with SHOT coverage…damn man, when did you sleep?

  23. Lisa N says:

    I check in and read the articles on Soldier Systems once a day if time permits. I get great information that is relevant like the Eotech recall and other informative posts. There is a great deal of respect for TH across the internet forums and across the country. When I saw the video posted my first though was this doesn’t belong here and the video was posted for a specific reason other than just a “safety warning” Keep it classy and professional and keep up the good work.