An Open Letter to Outdoor Life, Ammoland, and the Herald-Tribune’s Lee Williams


Lee’s note: This just in from the National Gun Victims Action Council

An Open Letter to Outdoor Life, Ammoland, and the Herald-Tribune’s Lee Williams

September 9, 2014 by NGVAC    |    News

How Gun Owners Are Helping To Take Their Own Guns Away

On August 20, 2014, the National Gun Victims Action Council issued a press release calling for a ban of “Smart Scope” Military-Style Precision-Guided sniper rifles, manufactured by Texas-based TrackingPoint, from being sold to the public. These weapons, legally sold to civilians, allow even people who have never fired a gun to hit a target the size of a soup can from 1,000 yards away every time—that’s 10 football fields or over half a mile.

Promptly, the pro-gun outlets, Outdoor Life and Ammoland and Lee Williams of the Herald-Tribune issued pleas for sympathy and “understanding” for this weapon while non-gun extremists remained chillingly silent.

“If we start banning technology like this, what’s next? What scope is next? What ngvacfirearm is next,” whined poor, victimized TrackingPoint in Williams’ Sept. 2 Herald-Tribune column. “We have to stand together to prevent this kind of erosion of our constitutional rights.”

And stand together they did. We, at NGVAC, received an enormous amount of email from followers of these outlets, explaining how ignorant we are, what a threat to the sanctity and security of our country we represent and how our “gun grabbing” legislation-driven agenda violates “constitutional rights.”

None of the defenders of the “can’t miss” Military-Style Precision-Guided Sniper rifle addressed its dangers to the public’s safety and indeed the safety of our public spaces or the fact that the weapon has no legitimate purpose such as self-defense or hunting by “real” hunters who rely on skill.

During the terrifying Beltway sniper attacks of October, 2002, ten people were killed and three others critically injured in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. People were terrified to get out of their cars to fill their gas tanks or even leave their houses and the region was in a state of panic. Yet TrackingPoint and its defenders conveniently forget this example of how a single sniper can and has terrorized entire communities. Now TrackingPoint enables anyone to be an elite sniper and laments that to not do so erodes our “constitutional rights.”

What the gun advocates did mention was the Second Amendment “right” of civilians to own TrackingPoint’s sniper weapon and the loss of freedoms that banning this rifle from civilian purchase would mean. They left out the loss of freedoms that have resulted from banning civilians from possessing ricin or heat-guided laser rocket launchers. Nor did the gun advocates who wrote us address our side’s Second Amendment right to regulate guns.

TrackingPoint’s position is not a surprise. It is just another greedy gun manufacturer unconcerned with what happens to the public once it sells its guns. Are TackingPoint and its defenders really unaware of the mass terror and destabilization of a society these weapons in the hands of civilians can unleash?

What will it take to ban sales of TrackingPoint’s “can’t miss” sniper rifles to the public? A Supreme Court Justice being taken out? The quarterback of the opposing football team? A politician? A school bus driver and his busload of children, murdered from half mile away?

When such sniping events begin, we will predictably hear “it’s not the gun– it’s the mentally disturbed person that is to blame,” which will be just fine with TrackingPoint. Meanwhile, to identify mentally ill people who might possess TrackingPoint weapons, we would need a registry which you gun advocates also block, saying it also violates our “rights.”

In defending insurrection-style weapons, you,, Outdoor Life, Lee Williams and Ammoland are actually working against your own interests. Do you really think the first sniper attack with a TrackingPoint weapon won’t force the gun laws you fear including regulation of the military weapons you defend? Defending weapons like TrackingPoint’s “Smart Scope” Military-Style Precision-Guided sniper rifles is practically inviting the government to take your guns–and they will—and you will have done it to yourselves.

And, I know when the government has no choice but to act, you will get your guns out and take on the U.S. Armed Forces’ drones, tanks and laser guided missiles and…defeat them. How about getting real for a minute?

The “can’t miss” Sniper rifle must be banned from civilian sales and those already sold, bought back from the owners by TrackingPoint. Be smart, if you can, and support this ban or you will lose your guns. Don’t believe me? Let’s find out.

Elliot Fineman

President and CEO

National Gun Victims Action Council

Links to the pro-TrackingPoint weapons stories.

<href=”#axzz3CT68FIpC”>“legitimate”-civiliansoutdoor life link


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. Common Sense Tyranny on

    I cannot wait until we arrive in the Glorious World of Next Tuesday that progressive fools like this group promise us by attacking the tools of freedom.

  2. Pingback: The Captain's Journal » Concerning TrackingPoint

  3. Abraham Collins on

    If a soldier can carry one then so can a militiaman. The Declaration of Independence clearly states that we have the duty to abolish and replace a tyrannical government and the Second Amendment guarantees that we will have the capability to do so.

    A tank, a drone, a laser-guided missile, etc. are all useless in asymmetric guerrilla warfare. The United States would lose a war against its own people through attrition and very quickly.

  4. Pingback: An Open Letter to Outdoor Life, Ammoland, and the Herald-Tribune’s Lee Williams - The Gun Feed

  5. Can’t fix stupid. He leaves out the part about the $27,000 needed by the would-be sniper to buy the rifle and scope. Or even the $5000 something to buy the lower cost Remington knock-off. Crazy criminals Hell-bent on wreaking havoc have all kinds of money just laying around. NOT!

  6. Exactly! I’m sure there’s thousands of criminals waiting to plunk down $27,500 for a firearm, which they have to purchase lawfully of course for a Texas firm, and then pick up at their local FFL.

  7. Seems to me like gun right’s advocates are winning way more battles at the appellate, state supreme court and SCOTUS levels than the anits are these days.

    It’s slow and shouldn’t be necessary but we continue to file and win.

    I suspect this trend will continue.

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  10. I especially like how the author laments the accuracy of the rifle. Usually, these ones whine about how horrible it is that people are allowed to own semiautomatic machine guns and high capacity magazine clips that allow the to spray bullets indiscriminately, thus killing more babies per ammunition bullet sprayed.

    But now, the accuracy is too much for them. Anyone could be a “sniper”. Somebody *could* do something, so we better hurry up and ban it before someone does.

    Not accurate enough? Ban it. Too accurate? Ban it.

    If that’s not all the evidence you need to see that these people will not rest until they’ve confiscated every weapon you own and left you defenseless, then I don’t know what is.

  11. First, banning a gun because it is too accurate is like banning a car because it can be kept between the lines. Advocating for guns that are less accurate is stupid. Second, I thought gun banners were in favor of “smart guns”, to the point of REQUIRING them. Be careful what you wish for. Third, price is a factor. And last, I agree with many others… this open letter is a whole new level of idiocy.

  12. Indeed, a very special kind of stupid. And a particular kind of statist totalitarian, expressing glee at the prospect of Government firearms confiscation, dancing in the blood of the very “victims” you purport to defend. Meanwhile, in the real world, the ARs, AKM pattern semi autos, the surplus M-1s, FN-FALs and all the other “military pattern” rifles you would so dearly love to ban and confiscate– are still Liberty’s teeth and still legal to “keep and bear” by the people–all the people–and that just drives you wild. A free man is armed, a disarmed man is a slave. I will not be a slave.

  13. E. Zach Lee-Wright on

    Mr. Fineman: The oldest government on earth has a policy of ensuring its citizens can arm themselves. The benefit has been that no elected leader has been able to seize power beyond the term the leader was elected to and no one has ever conducted a successful coup to seize control. Attempts have been extremely rare because both the politician and the citizen know their country was designed to allow the citizens to be armed to prevent such power grabs. The world’s oldest government has survived while all others have succumbed to turmoil. The name of this unique and old state? You must be wondering. It is the United States of America. Disarm this nation at the nation’s peril, Elliot.

  14. Miles Wilson Carter on

    Are you serious? You want to ban a rifle system because you think it’s too accurate? All the shots this scope and shooter combo can accomplish are easily made by any well trained sniper.
    Next this wacky group will want to ban any accuracy training till they are satisfied that only Dumb and Dumber can vote…oh wait we’re there already.

  15. Excuse me, excuse me mister pres & CEO of ngvac but I already have three rifles in my safe that will shoot past 1000 yards. While this new scope will let the untrained shoot better, there are already a million or so Americans that can hit a target at that range, heck my grandson can already hit at 300 yards and he’s 8 yrs old. Every hunting rifle for deer and up will shoot to a thousand yards so you should go curl up in a ball now and panic.

  16. This technology can totally be afforded by your average gang banger to do drive bys of schools from the back of a high capacity assault van.

    Come on. Are you seriously worried about technology that only a select few can afford? Jesus. Grow up. You throw a fit about the second amendment, yet you don’t throw a fit about DUI, anti immunization movements, child molesters being released from prison and back into our neighborhoods, pools, accidental poisoning, falls and crib death? All of those kill kids too, yet not a peep. Get real. Lawful firearms aren’t the threat, criminals who illegally obtain theirs are.

  17. Wow, they’ve sunk to the level of advice-trolling? You have to feel bad for the disarmament lobby, they just can’t figure out how to get rid of us Americans.

  18. Why is a group whose non-profit status was recently revoked by the IRS for failure to file the proper paperwork for three years straight worried about a firearm that has NEVER been used in any crime, and at a price more than most cars, is unlikely to ever be used in any crime?

    Maybe this group should focus on stolen pistols, which are the firearm used in almost all crimes.

  19. Mr. Antisocial Guy on

    So if advancement in technology within the 2nd Amendment should be outlawed, then by that same reasoning you should not be able to write using your computer and posting it on the internet. That would violate the 1st Amendment because you didn’t use your quill and ink. The internet giving your writing more readership, is no different than a “smart” scope giving a gun more accuracy. Personally I think if you don’t like guns, DON’T BUY ONE!!! #IAmForGunRights

  20. Washington state residents, PLEASE protect your constitutional rights! VOTE NO ON I-594! 594 does nothing but make criminals out of law abiding citizens.

  21. So, first of all…you’re no longer a non-profit. You lost your status last May according to the IRS. People should know that before considering anything you say.

    Second of all, fewer people are killed by rifles of any kind every year than die by bludgeoning or by falling out of their bed every year. Gain some perspective here. The system developed by TrackingPoint will never be at a price point where it will be available to the majority of buyers. It will always be a novelty item for the wealthy.

    Third of all, Ricin and Laser Guided missile systems aren’t categorized as “arms.” Your entire statement is a straw man. But for the record, the launcher can be bought by the general public with the right time, patience and money. It’s the explosive ammunition that’s prohibited under most circumstances.

    Lastly, a high quality precision rifle with high quality optics that are already available is already “can’t miss” for all intents and purposes on a stationary man sized target within 200 yards. The type of person who will be able to afford TrackingPoint can already afford an Accuracy International L115A3 with Hensoldt ZF 4-16×56 FF optics that can, with a little skill and practice, take out a target at a distance of over a mile…yet for some reason, nobody has. In fact, the one series of sniping we’ve had in the recent past used a common Bushmaster AR with an even more common holographic sight with which they managed to kill 10 and wound 3 others.

    It would be best if you knew what you were talking about rather than just trying to fear monger.

  22. If you are truly interested in reducing gun violence, please pause your righteous indignation long enough to educate yourself about the objects you think you wish to ban, because you are ignorant of them (and I use the word “ignorant” in its proper sense, with no intent to insult you). Then, please, very carefully think through why you think banning them would be an improvement in our safety (because anything done to weaken their effectiveness for criminals also weakens their effectiveness for use as defensive tools of the potential victims of those criminals).

    One reason pro-gun groups fight as hard as they do against any new restrictions is that they tend to be written by clueless people who write them so that they needlessly restrict harmless things, while failing to address the problem of gun violence which your group claims to be trying to curtail.

  23. Let me just make a few things clear, in no particular order:
    The beltway “snipers”: weren’t. A hundred meter (or yard) shot is spitting distance to actual soldiers, competition shooters and people that shoot rifles for fun. Those two weren’t shooting at distances above 300 meters, the distance where soldiers can be expected to hit a man-sized target.

    Hunters don’t intend, need or want to cause unnecessary suffering to the animal, and in fact such is illegal in some jurisdictions. There are places where you can hunt a deer at 300 meters. That scope is perfect for such a thing, taking deer cleanly with a minimum of suffering.

    Further, what differences are between, say, a Remington 700 SPS chambering .308 Remington (a common deer rifle) and a military grade sniper rifle like the Army’s M24 “Sniper Weapons System”, chambering 7.62mm NATO? I’ll give you a hint: None. There are no differences between what I, and a large number of hunters, use to hunt deer and what a bona-fide sniper uses to hunt terrorists.

    Registry: Explain how, exactly, a registry can or would stop criminals or mentally ill persons from killing others.

    You want to move the goalposts? Fine: Ricin is a rather poor weapon to use against tyranny.That it can be used for such should guarantee its ability to be possessed by law abiding citizens. “Heat-guided” (I suppose you mean “heat seeking”) rocket launchers (Like the FIM-92 “Stinger” surface to air missile): Yes, such should be a guaranteed right of possession to protect against tyrannical use of drones.

    “… take on the U.S. Armed Forces’ drones, tanks and laser guided missiles and…defeat them. How about getting real for a minute?” How about *you* get real for a minute here: Ever heard of the “posse comitatus act”? The U.S. Military is barred from deploying on our soil to engage Americans. The Guard would have to be called up. Want to bet that combat arms guardsmen would comply with such an order? Let me remind you that they’d likely own their own privately-owned firearms. Those that would comply would be going up against veterans, combat arms soldiers and pissed off civilians. Oh, and those drone operators? Yeah, a couple hundred rifle owners could easily rush a drone control container and capture the operators.

    Allow me to point out that our military is about two million people. Figure the political leanings of military service members are roughly equal to the population as a whole: That’s more in line with the House of representatives, where the conservatives are in the majority, than the Senate. Conservatives tend to own guns. so figure 1.03 million service members decide to sit it out rather than fight it out. the remaining 898-some thousand? Against (and I’ll take the extremely pessimistic “39% of the population” figure for the sake of argument) 122 million people? Keep dreaming.

    Which brings up another point: Were gun owners so violent as you make out, there wouldn’t be anyone against guns that was still drawing air. Perhaps, rather than focusing your energy on inanimate objects, you’d be better served in achieving your goal of protecting society by finding a solution that actually works and at the same time doesn’t risk a popular insurrection.

  24. When a bad guy takes my child hostage, I would LOVE to have a TrackingPoint scope on my firearm for shooting the bad guy in the face.

    The LAST thing I would want to do is to miss and hurt my child.


  25. Michael Z. Williamson on

    I mean, think of all those drug dealers.

    1: Spend $27,000 on a super sniper rifle.
    2: shoot school kids from over 1000 yards away.
    3: Profit?

    Seriously, I could take his side of the argument and write a better article. Is the man retarded?

  26. So why is more accurate worse? More accurate means you have a better chance of hitting the intended target, and less chance of unintentional “collateral damage.”

  27. Wow, is all I can say, guess what its mostly pro 2a men and women that operate those drones, tanks and laser guided missles… esentially we have no one to defeat. People are very ignorant these days, starting with the author of this article… followed by the people that agree with him. Hahahaha what a joke.

  28. Michael Z. Williamson on

    “Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.”.”

    – See more at:

    Now, let’s discuss our First Amendment right to silence ignorant retards. That exists, right?

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