Friday, December 05, 2008

A stand-up executive with a stand-up company

Tommy Millner, President and CEO of Remington Arms, has twice now shown that he understands the vital fight that gun-rights people are in, and has put his and his company's weight and reputations behind doing the right thing, versus the usual wishy-washy corporate "go along to get along" policies.

1. Remington immediately dropped its sponsorship of Outdoor Life magazine columnist Jim Zumbo's television show on the Outdoor Channel last year, after Zumbo posted the following statement about AR and AK-type rifles on his blog while describing his hunting trip with Remington representatives:

"As I write this, I’m hunting coyotes in southeastern Wyoming with Eddie Stevenson, PR Manager for Remington Arms, Greg Dennison, who is senior research engineer for Remington, and several writers. We’re testing Remington’s brand new .17 cal Spitfire bullet on coyotes.

I must be living in a vacuum. The guides on our hunt tell me that the use of AR and AK rifles have a rapidly growing following among hunters, especially prairie dog hunters. I had no clue. Only once in my life have I ever seen anyone using one of these firearms.

I call them “assault” rifles, which may upset some people. Excuse me, maybe I’m a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I’ll go so far as to call them “terrorist” rifles. They tell me that some companies are producing assault rifles that are “tackdrivers.”

Sorry, folks, in my humble opinion, these things have no place in hunting. We don’t need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them, which is an obvious concern.

I’ve always been comfortable with the statement that hunters don’t use assault rifles. We’ve always been proud of our “sporting firearms.”

This really has me concerned. As hunters, we don’t need the image of walking around the woods carrying one of these weapons. To most of the public, an assault rifle is a terrifying thing. Let’s divorce ourselves from them. I say game departments should ban them from the prairies and woods."

Millner responded within hours with the following statement, impressive because he was on vacation overseas at the time:

"ALL - Jim Zumbo in NO WAY speaks for Remington! His opinions are his own. We at Remington take our 2nd Amendment Rights extremely seriously and ourselves market and manufacturer a AR based 308 rifle. Remington Arms supports the lawful use of all firearms by their owners in whatever legal manner they choose. We at Remington feel that it is the diversity of our tastes and uses of firearms that should also be the binding element that assists us all in defending the rights granted to us by our fore fathers.

Rest assured that Remington not only does not support Jim's view, we totally disagree! I have no explanation for his perspective.

I proudly own AR's and support everyones right to do so! What makes me sick is how quickly people on the Internet have called to boycott Remington. All Jim said was he was hunting with our people! This is normal course in our industry. How else do people think we field test? with writers.

Remington has spent tens of millions of dollars to defend your rights and how quickly the thanks is threat and boycott! Please feel Free to post that Remington does not agree with Zumbo in any way shape or form and we will assess our relationship with him accordingly.

Tommy Millner
CEO and President"

How's that for a no-nonsense response? Zumbo (Who is the living stereotype of a "Fudd" - A derisive term for a hunter with a bolt-action rifle who couldn't care less if every other firearm in the country was banned, as long as he could still get his deer. See Fudd, Elmer.) was subsequently forced to "retire" from his many cushy gigs.

2. H-S Precision, a boutique manufacturer of precision rifles, recently put the following endorsement on the back cover of their catalog:

Yes, you read it right, their "celebrity endorser" is none other than infamous FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi, the person who shot and killed Vicki Weaver at Ruby Ridge in 1992. Weaver was shot through a door that Horiuchi couldn't see behind while she was holding her infant daughter.

The aftermath, as described on Wikipedia:

"A Justice Department review later found the second shot was unconstitutional and the lack of a request to surrender was "inexcusable", since Harris and the two Weavers were running for cover and could not pose an imminent threat. The task force also specifically blamed Horiuchi for firing through the door, not knowing whether someone was on the other side of it. While controversy exists as to who issued the orders that were being followed by the sniper, the task force also condemned the so-called "rules of engagement" allowing shots to be fired with no request for surrender."

Horiuchi was subsequently indicted on manslaughter charges in Idaho, although the Feds quickly had the case moved to Federal court and then dismissed.


If that weren't enough, Horiuchi was also at Waco, and is suspected of firing shots that weren't accounted for there as well:

"On September 13, 1993, Charles Riley, a fellow F.B.I. sniper deployed during the Waco Siege claimed that he had heard Horiuchi shooting from Sierra 1, an F.B.I.-held house in front of the compound holding eight snipers, including Horiuchi and Christopher Curran. Riley later retracted his statement, saying that he had been misquoted, and that he had only heard snipers at Sierra 1 announce that shots had been fired upon by Branch Davidians.

Three of the twelve expended .308 Winchester shell casings that the Texas Rangers reported finding in the house were at Horiuchi's position. However, officials maintain that they could have been left behind from the earlier use of the house by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and that it would be "nearly impossible" to match them to Horiuchi's rifle, as it had probably been rebarreled since that time"


Strangely enough, some in the gun community took exception to this man being the "face" for anything firearm-related, and have complained in large numbers to H-S. They have not to date made any public response.

Once again, though, Tommy Millner and Remington, who have a partnership with H-S Precision, have come through in the clutch:

"Because its thanksgiving and everyone is off, we have not made contact with HS. We have taken any reference to HS from our web site..

When you first emailed me I honestly did not recall horiuchi's name so you caught me unawares. I also do not read the blogs so the fact there was an issue came as a surpise.

In any event, HS makes a great product and we are a large customer of theirs. Why they would pick a super controversial spokesperson is beyond me. Doing this violates pure business common sense. Early next week we will use whatever persuasive powers at our disposal to get HS to do the right thing..

Do me a favor and tell those on the bolgs that Remington and I are now fully aware of the issue, in full agreement with the outrage, and will do what we can t exert pressure on HS to reverse course.



I already use Remington's UMC ammunition for practice exclusively because of its quality and value, as well as their Golden Saber personal defense ammo because of its reliable expansion properties and consistent performance. I will now also make sure that the next rifle or shotgun I purchase will be a Remington product as well. I suggest wholeheartedly that everyone else consider the same when evaluating your firearm or ammunition needs.

Mr. Millner, you have made a customer for life.

1 comment:

Bike Bubba said...

It's astounding that nobody ever thought that an endorsement by Horiuchi would be a problem. Are our memories that much better than those of others?

I kinda want a Henry for my next gun, or maybe see if I can get a Garand.