Last Friday morning, I sent a somewhat heated email to the staff at MKS Supply regarding their rather insulting and demeaning closing lines in a recent press release concerning RFID tags in their firearms. Impressively, this morning, I received the following email from Charles Brown, the president and owner of MKS Supply:
I appreciate your response to the barcode chip Release that was sent out last week, I am handling each one of the few responses we received individually, I feel if you took the time to contact me and express yourself I should extend the courtesy of responding to you.
I agree 100% with your observation that the “tin foil” comment sounded and read like we were uncaring pompous asses who did not care about the customers we market to, I like to try to put some humor in all of my releases and the shooting press seems to find it a nice departure from the mundane who-what-where-when contained in most the releases they get, however the intent of the “humor” came thru in a totally different “feel”-(yes we forgot the whole internet thing about how you can’t read inflection or feelings)
I also try to let all of our releases “sleep” over night and come back in the next day with fresh eyes and take a look at it …unfortunately I did not with this one.
My family has been in the firearms business since 1953 and I have owned MKS for the last 28 years, always supporting the firearms industry and supporting the preservation of our constitutional rights and being on the watch for erosion of such.
MKS was one of the charter members of the Heritage fund that has pledged 1% of all of our sales to go toward fighting for our firearms rights, I am an NRA life member and support with cash and donations, thru MKS numerous events, friends of NRA, first shots programs, NSSF, US Sportsman’s alliance..in the 90’s we were one of the first to send donations of cash to the organizations in California fighting for our firearms rights. ect.
I am hoping that our ACTIONS of the past and future will show through and one comment that was supposed to produce a chuckle (unfortunately made us look like Jackasses) won’t forever hurt the way we are viewed. I guess I should have just re-stated that the glued in easy to find Barcode chip can be easily removed and left it at that.
Humbly and respectfully yours
(Emphasis in the original.)
First off, I will give Mr. Brown credit for responding in an expeditious fashion. The email does come off rather form-letterish (and, based off the one Jake at Curses, Foiled Again received, that assumption would be correct), but given the number of responses they undoubtedly received over this press release, I cannot really blame them on that count.
Second, I dare say he adopted the perfectly correct attitude – Better Half and I figured they were attempting to make something of a joke, but given their target audience and the topic being discussed, their specific use of terms and phraseology in that attempt at humor was inevitably going to ruffle more feathers than it would amuse. He confirmed their motivations, and likewise admitted that they probably should have phrased it a different way, if they were going to attempt humor at all (and I will grant that I do appreciate a break from the normal "Yay us, we did something!" press releases).
Finally, his last, underlined comment is exactly correct, and indicates that they have learned from this experience.
On average, firearm owners are about as friendly, personable, and helpful people as you are likely to meet – I can hardly go to the range any more without getting in a conversation with someone about what they were shooting, and eventually trading off firearms to try them out. But, like all subcultures of American society, there are specific things that will spool most of us right up, no matter how good your original intentions might have been… and while sticking an RFID tracking tag inside of your firearms, no matter how short-range or inventory-related it might be, may not necessarily be one of those things, insulting people who raised valid concerns definitely is.
However, an acknowledgment of wrong-doing, an apology, and a promise to not repeat your past mistakes is all the Old Guy in the Sky requires, so who am I to hold anyone to higher standards? Mr. Brown may not have explicitly apologized, but I am willing to take the spirit of the email for what it is worth, and I look forward to eventually procuring my own upside-down revolver in the hopefully-near future.
… And popping out the RFID chip as soon as i get it.
(Of course, if MKS Supply wants another comprehensive test-and-evaluation-and-photographing of their revolutionary wheelgun, I could probably be talked into it…)