the truth about the truth about guns and robert farago

Unless you are prepared for a veritable skyscraper of text (over 9,000 words) and a serious airing of grievances, you should probably go ahead and plan on skipping this post.

That disclaimer dispensed with, here is how it is. Over the past few years, Robert Farago – the editor of The Truth About Guns – has functionally leeched off of, exploited, stabbed in the back, maligned, abused, lied about, misrepresented, stolen from, and infringed upon the rights of countless other people, both actual pro-rights activists and people who are not at all involved in the firearm-related community. Recent events have shown us that people seem largely unaware of this pattern of misconduct in Robert’s past, so this post will serve as a centralized source of information on the same.

All of the statements, claims, and grievances posted here will be appropriately cited, sourced, and linked. If you see anything you think we missed, please let me know, and I will be more than happy to add it, so long as you have the evidence to support it.

It is worth noting that a good number of these violations of basic, common courtesy – to put it mildly – were perpetrated by someone other than Robert himself; however, Robert is, was, and remains the lead editor for The Truth About Guns, and therefore retains final responsibility and accountability for the actions of his writers on his site. A responsible editor would have serious considered letting some of the TTAG people go after repeat violations, but, then, responsible editors have some degree of backbone as well…

Robert Farago is not a friend of the Second Amendment, nor is he a friend of those who would defend it. This post will hopefully help alert people to those two simple facts.

[Note 1: I will, as much as possible, refrain from linking directly to The Truth About Guns (TTAG); just as I refuse to tacitly support anti-rights weblogs with traffic, so to do I choose to deny that tacit support to any weblog that would steal from pro-rights activists, lie about it, and comport themselves like a "syphilitic skunk", to quote Oleg Volk. In all cases, when referring to posts at TTAG, I will have screen captures of post in question and I will include the full address in the image if you really want to type all of that in yourself.]

[Note 2: This document is posted here at "walls of the city" and does bear my name as the author; however, I was greatly assisted in the assembling and writing of this post by numerous pro-rights webloggers who had finally grown tired of Robert’s constant exploitation of our community (Such is the crowdsourcing power of Google Docs… or Drive… or whatever it is called these days.). Some of these people were not even directly targeted by Robert and his merry band of authors, which just goes to show how much his behavior has offended the community as a whole.

Speaking of, though, if you have any experiences or interactions with Robert you would like to share, feel free to leave a comment here or email me at "linoge (at) wallsofthecity (dot) net".]



Dan Zimmerman Copyright Violation (Benjamin Toombs)

Miso Beno Copyright Claim Against Dan Zimmeman

On 17NOV11, Dan Zimmerman, an author at The Truth About Guns, put up a post entitled "Obama to Public Land Shooters: GTFO"; at the top of that article was a picture taken by a Mr. Benjamin Toombs, who maintains the site Miso Studio under the name "Miso Beno". This picture was used without Mr. Toombs permission, and on 19NOV11, Mr. Toombs twice requested, as the copyright holder, that Dan Zimmerman and TTAG take down the image. (Screen capture of copyright infringement is property of Mr. Harry McNally and is used with his permission.)

On 13DEC11, when it became apparent that neither Dan Zimmerman nor TTAG had any intentions of taking down the image, Harry McNally, a friend of Mr. Toombs, posted the following on Facebook:

If a gun blog (for the sake of argument, let’s call them "The Truth About Guns") were to use a photograph in one of their posts without the permission of the photographer who owns the rights to the photograph and then ignores the photographer when he asks them to take it down, what would that make the blog? I think the precise legal term is "thieves."

You guys are thieves.

Robert Farago's Copyright Violation Against Benjamin Toombs on Facebook

Miso Beno Copyright Claim Against Dan Zimmerman 2

By way of response, Robert Farago, using the TTAG Facebook account, responded with a link to the Wikipedia explanation of "fair use", and when asked for clarification, explained:

What else is there to say? We used the photo under Fair Use provisions. We do so with thousands of pictures per year. If you’re the snapper, be advised: if it’s on the net it’s fair game. (Note: I didn’t make the rules. )

(Emphasis added.)

Personally, I would take the bolded section of the above comment to mean that Robert has given anyone and everyone permission to use, copy, paste, and reprint anything that The Truth About Guns or its authors might hold copyright for without accreditation or citation, but that may just be me. Obviously this is a wholesale misrepresentation of the notion of "fair use", which was repeatedly pointed out to Mr. Farago through the course of the Facebook conversation, with the photographer himself weighing in, saying:

Whoa dudes, you don’t have permission to use my photograph and this is not an instance of fair use. You are not an educational institution, and you are in fact generating revenue through the use of my work. The Truth About Guns is violating my Creative Commons 2.0 (A-NC-ND) license and I’m just a teeny-tiny bit mad about it.

While the conversation on Facebook was ongoing, a Reddit thread was started regarding TTAG’s copyright infringements against Mr. Toombs, wherein it was reconfirmed that Dan Zimmerman’s use of Mr. Toombs image was not, in fact, "fair use", and TTAG’s refusal to abide by Mr. Toombs’ take-down request was inappropriate. In the course of that conversation, Redditor rubberbaron wrote the following regarding Robert Farago:

I’m a writer on the internet (huzzah!) and was approached by Robert Farago to write for TTAG. I did end up writing a few articles for the site, but he and I never clicked. Our email exchanges were rather stupid, with him always asking for my writing to be more confrontational or asking me to make it different in abstract ways, by using buzz words and meaningless adjectives.

I’ve written many places around the web and never had anyone edit the content of my work before (most editors adjust for typos, etc., and/or give feedback), but Farago would alter my writing to make it fit in with his vision for the site, which made me look like a shitty writer, I thought. He’d insert jokey lines that were completely absent of my tone. Some editors do this, but you rarely do it to someone who you brought in for their specific voice.

In the end I only wrote a handful of articles, made a couple of bucks (he was late in payment but did pay), and we went our separate ways. While I wouldn’t say my time there was horrible, since the job was very passive, I can say I hated having him as an editor.

Additionally, Nick Leghorn, one of the writers at TTAG, wrote this:

Hi there. I’m Nick Leghorn, one of the writers for The Truth About Guns.

I wasn’t aware of this tussle until I saw it on Reddit this morning, and I have to say I’m disappointed. Not in you guys, in my editor. I understand how U.S. copyright law works, and I make every effort to use either photographs I personally took or those whose licenses allow for reproduction (public domain, CC with attribution, whatever) and ensure that my stuff is in full compliance with U.S. copyright law.

I thought that the other writers were doing the same, since RF has been in the business before and one or two of the other writers are actually lawyers. But I guess not. It sucks, because the (written) content for the site is all original and, in my opinion, some of the best in-depth coverage of firearms and related topics on the internet. Having a copyright spat like this detracts from our credibility without directly attacking the content, and the worst part is that it could have easily been fixed.

I’m not happy with the way this was handled. I’ve contacted RF (the editor) and let him know that unless he straightens things out and makes them right with these guys I’m quitting as a writer for the site. I won’t be associated with people who steal content from the creators and claim that they’re in the right. I hope we can resolve this, I really do. Because if you ignore the "spats" that have popped up the site produces some fantastic content and I’d hate to see that go under from something as simple as a pissed off copyright holder.

UPDATE – RF has pulled the offending information, pledged to instruct the writers on copyright law, streamlined the takedown process and admitted to being wrong. I admit to writing the outline of the mea culpa he posted, but he fleshed it out, pressed the button and agreed to the terms. I’ll make sure he makes things right with the photographers as well, because Ben is the best in the business and goons always try to help goons.

Unfortunately, while Robert does apologize (indirectly) to Mr. Toombs in the post Nick linked to, it fails for two reasons. First, it places the burden of effort and proof upon the person who feels as though their copyright has been infringed, not on the person doing the infringing:

If you see something posted on this site without permission that you created, send an email to [email protected] and include the following items:

– Your name and contact information
– A brief paragraph about what happened and why you are writing
– A link to the offending content on our website
– Some proof that you are the original content creator (a link to the source or your own website is perfect)

In other words, "we are going to continue stealing everyone else’s material, and are not going to do anything about it unless you notice and complain to us."

Second, and most ironically, the image that particular post started with was stolen from, and that site’s Privacy Policy clearly states:

Permission is granted to temporarily download one copy of the materials (information or software) on’s web site for personal, non-commercial transitory viewing only. This is the grant of a license, not a transfer of title, and under this license you may not:

– modify or copy the materials;
– use the materials for any commercial purpose, or for any public display (commercial or non-commercial);
– attempt to decompile or reverse engineer any software contained on’s web site;
– remove any copyright or other proprietary notations from the materials; or
– transfer the materials to another person or "mirror" the materials on any other server.

This license shall automatically terminate if you violate any of these restrictions and may be terminated by at any time. Upon terminating your viewing of these materials or upon the termination of this license, you must destroy any downloaded materials in your possession whether in electronic or printed format.

In other words, in the post where Robert Farago was apologizing for infringing on other people’s copyrights, he was infringing on other people’s copyrights. Did he learn his lesson? I think not.

The best thing to come out of this unfortunate incident was that the Shooters’ Journal took a moment to clarify their position and reaffirm photographers’ rights, wherein they actually admit to doing their homework, researching the photo in question, and contacting the photographer before using it on their site. You know, like responsible journalists do.

Robert Farago Copyright Violation (Shooting Illustrated)

On 23OCT11, Robert Farago wrote a post at TTAG entitled "What’s Wrong With This Picture: Baywatch This Edition". The post consisted of nothing more than a photograph of a weapon light/laser combination being shined down a flight of stairs, and the text, "Image courtesy" Except there is one small problem: "courtesy of" implies consent on the part of the original source, and SayUncle, the actual copyright holder for the image, indicates no consent was given:

What’s wrong with this picture?

It’s not at It’s copyrighted material that you’re using without permission? I’m not really left-handed?

At least Robert brought himself to link to the actual page where the picture was featured on Shooting Illustrated, rather than the root domain like he normally does. The image remains to this day, despite Robert being aware that he used the photo without the photographer’s consent, and the photographer’s dissatisfaction with the situation. This further confirms the notion that he did not learn his lesson regarding copyright infringements.

Dan Zimmerman Copyright Violation (Snarky Bytes)

Apparently Dan Zimmerman did not learn his lesson either. On 15JUN12, Dan Zimmerman wrote a post on TTAG entitled "Remington Settles 700 Trigger Suit" which featured a photograph of a stainless-and-OD-green Remington 700 on a bipod; unsurprisingly, Dan did not take this picture, neither did anyone else at TTAG. Instead, the picture was taken by Alan of Snarky Bytes, who expressed his displeasure with the theft of his image in a comment on TTAG and in a post at his site. Farago’s response to Alan’s understandable indignation again reinforces the fact that he has not learned his lesson, despite numerous people in the previous comment threads and this one explaining to him exactly why his misrepresentation of "fair use" is exactly that – wrong.

Interestingly, The Truth About Guns’ theft of Alan’s Remington 700 image continues to this day, though the image is no longer featured in the original article. This rather belies Robert’s claim that TTAG "remove(s) photos when the photographer takes umbrage. As we did here."

Robert Farago HTML Incompetence

Perhaps the most amusing thing of this particular incident, however, is after Alan told Robert that not linking back to the original source was both "impolite and breaks the web", Robert claimed "If we could embed a link we would." (Screen capture of email is property of Alan, and is used with permission.)

For those unfamiliar, Robert Farago is, indeed, the lead editor of The Truth About Guns and was previously the lead editor of The Truth About Cars, along with previously blogging at Autoblog and Jalopnik. I find it remarkably difficult to believe that neither he nor anyone else on his staff can figure out how to use HTML in order to embed a link back to the original sources of the pictures he and his employees steal from other people. In fact, if one did not know better, one would almost think that was an outright, blatant lie.

Robert Farago Copyright Violation (Tamara Keel)

On 04APR11, Robert Farago published an article on TTAG entitled "A Modest Proposal: The Disposable Gun"; this post consisted of literally nothing more than a picture that a TTAG editor/author might or might not have taken, the text, "From", and the wholesale copying of the post in question without the Tamara Keel’s (the author) consent.

Copying part of a post in order to comment on it, expand upon the point the author brought up, or otherwise address the post or part of post in question is one thing, and is generally considered to be acceptable and within the bounds of "fair use". Copying said post wholesale and adding absolutely no commentary, additional perspectives, or anything else at all? That is thievery, plain and simple, even though Farago acknowledged where the thievery took place (this acknowledgement merely prevents Farago’s copy-pasting from being plagiarism; it has no impact on the copyright infringement involved).

Dan Zimmerman Copyright Violation (Tamara Keel)

Then, on 16AUG11, Dan Zimmerman published a post on TTAG called, "Safety Tip: Remember Your Chamber Checks. Always." This time, the offense was arguably "better", if such a thing can actually be said – Dan made some comments about the importance of chamber-checking firearms you pick up, commented on the value of Tam’s personal experiences with the same, even went so far as to flatter Tam… right before he copy-pasted an entire ten-paragraph post of hers.

Unfortunately, this CTRL+A / CTRL+C / CTRL+V behavior for Robert and his underlings is not terribly surprising; what is amusing, however, is Robert’s reaction to being called out about it. In the comment thread of a post we will discuss later, Robert stated on 19AUG11, and I quote:

Seriously, if I/we get it wrong—sorry "when" I/we get it wrong, ping me at [email protected] I will respond STAT, fully aware of the likelihood that I’ve made a mistake. And making the changes that need making.

Just a few hours later, Tam says:

No need to go that far back. Tuesday they copypasta’ed an entire 10-paragraph post of mine. (One long enough that I’d have to shave some words if I wanted to mail it to Kathy in exchange for a check.)

That’s just bad form.

And just a few hours after that, Robert states:

For the record, we do not lift entire posts. We cut and paste paragraphs with analysis and ALWAYS link to the original source. We have never received a single complaint in that regard. If you have one, ping [email protected]

Robert later claims that he was "not aware of this post" (the one with the 10-paragraph-whole-post-copy-paste), and proceeded to remove it from the public view of the site, though the link still obvious works. However, even if he is being honest about not being "aware" of the post in question, the simple truth is that Robert, himself, "lift(ed) (an) entire post" from Tam once before, which makes his "for the record" comment nothing but a bald-faced lie.

Robert Farago Copyright Violation (Weer'd Beard)

And just to cap off Robert’s long-standing lie of not stealing other bloggers’ material, on 29NOV11, Robert Farago posted "TTAG to Weer’d Beard: We’re Sorry" which most definitely was not an apology, nor was it without its own instance of copyright infringement – right at the top of the post was nothing more than Weer’d Beard’s header image, which was graciously provided to Weer’d by Bluesun. Neither Weer’d nor Bluesun gave permission to Robert to use the image, and when Weer’d reminded Robert of that simple fact, the latter’s response was, once again, to fall back on a blatant misrepresentation of the concept of "fair use".

The image was not discussed in the post; it was not even relevant to the post, and barely amounted to anything more than filler, and, as such, probably did not fall within the bounds of "fair use". Instead, it was nothing more than a not-so-subtle "screw you" to Weer’d and the rest of us who attempt to comport ourselves in a mature, respectful fashion… unlike Robert.


Robert’s lies transition us nicely into the next section.

For a while (he seems to have slacked off of late), Robert had a nasty habit of reposting Oleg Volk’s pictures and launching into wholly unwarranted, vicious tirades against Mr. Volk, his photography, his style, and whatever else was getting Robert’s underoos in a wad. While this is within the realm of "fair use" for once – Robert was discussing the photographs in question, rather than simply using them as props around his posts – it struck more than a few of us as particularly reprehensible, and a few of us expressed that opinion to Robert.

One such vocal individual was Bob S., who approached the situation from the wholly understandable position of, "if you feel so comfortable incisively criticizing someone else’s photography, I am sure you will not mind us subjecting your posts to the same level of scrutiny."

Unsurprisingly, Robert cannot take what he dishes out, and, for his trouble, not only were Bob S.’ comments edited without any public acknowledgement of that the editing took place, all of those comments were eventually deleted and Bob S. banned from TTAG once Robert finally lost his temper:

Apparently Robert Farago aka "The Can’t Handle the Truth About Guns" thought I was "flaming" his site or himself. Apparently, flaming means anything critical of him.

He first edited my comment to remove the critique of him.

Let me repeat that Robert Farago aka "The Can’t Handle the Truth About Guns" edited another person’s comment to remove a critique about him. And worse in my opinion, did not note that he edited the comment.

Several emails went back and forth while I was answering other comments on the site. Then apparently when he realized I wasn’t going to go away and let him criticize others without saying something about it; he deleted all my comments.

(Emphasis in the original.)

Now, allow us to take this a step at a time. The internet largely exists and revolves around a certain level of shared trust – any time you see a firearm-related post or comment somewhere with the name "Linoge" at its top and with my little Saiga-coat-of-arms icon off to the side, you trust that is, in fact, me behind the keyboard that wrote that post or comment.

But have you ever thought about how easy it would be to spoof that? Save the icon to your desktop, generate up your own me-sounding email address, and start posting your way around the intertubes with my name and picture. Who would be able to tell the difference?

We trust that people do not do that, simply because the internet would, at least on the social level, unravel if everyone started faking being everyone else. Now, on the same level, we bloggers are entrusted with a certain degree of faith, as well; after all, once someone leaves a comment on our sites, we could open up our handy-dandy admin control panels, load up their comment, and edit it to say anything and everything we wanted.

But we do not. Because you trust us not to, because that would be misleading, and because we know it would be wrong.

Unfortunately, Robert does not seem to be limited by any of those niggling little interpersonal relationship details. More the pity, for him, at least.

"But there are exceptions! A lot of sites edit content based on X, Y, Z or Q!" And this is absolutely true; however, in the cases where those administrators choose to edit comments based on the commenting policies at their sites, they generally leave some kind of note or indication that yes, the comment was, indeed, edited by them, because of a violation of X, Y, Z, or Q. That way, everyone knows some aspect of the original comment is gone/missing, and no one thinks the author of the comment did say something he did not, or did not say something he did.

Unfortunately, Robert does not seem to find that common courtesy all that necessary either.

Make no mistake – by editing Bob S.’ comments and not disclosing that he did so, Robert lied. He indicated that Bob S. only said X and Z, when, in reality, Bob S. actually said X, Y, and Z; it may not be much of a lie, and he unquestionably does not care that it is a lie, but it is a lie nonetheless.

I know you all are not surprised but, as Bob S. indicates, that was not the end of Robert’s lies:

At no point did I say that he should ” I should proactively contact the subject of critical posts to get their comments” — which by the way is another revision without notification — it originally said “each and every”.

I said -repeatedly — that if he had a problem with the images, why didn’t he address it with the originators?

Robert Farago Lies About Bob S.

He is exactly right – nowhere did Bob S. say Robert "should" do anything; Bob S. simply asked why Robert did not do something. But, now, aside from Bob S.’ own words on on his site and the screen caps he took (I strongly recommend you read his whole post – it gives you a glimpse into the fetid corners of Robert’s mind), no one knows that Robert is lying, thanks to his Memory Hole-ing Bob S.’ actual comments.

We gunbloggers are more than familiar with this tactic, which is generally referred to as Reasoned Discourse; in fact, Joan Peterson is a known repeat offender when one of us says something borderline confrontational in her comments, she deletes the comment, and then proceeds to play the martyr for the next umpteen posts claiming we evil "gun nuts" are picking on her and abusing her and calling her mean names. Well, that is all good and well, and her fellow anti-rights cultist compatriots lap it up because it fits neatly into their preconceived bigotry, but the simple fact is we did no such thing… only we have absolutely no way of proving it any more, since she deleted the comment. In our "modern" world, though, the "victim" gets priority, even if she is a victim in her own mind, and it becomes the word of a "victim" against the word of a person who has already been castigated as a "bully" or worse; guess who wins.

In the end, this is an extension of the "Poisoning the Well" logical fallacy, and it appears to be a favorite of Robert’s as much as it is of the gun control extremists‘.

Unfortunately, Robert Farago’s unpublicized comment-editing does not end there.

On 05DEC11, ExurbanKevin wrote a post to follow up on a comment of his that was stealth-edited by Robert:

I left this comment over at TTAG as a response to an incendiary article about who should and should not have the right to defend themselves.

“Short version of this article: “I’m ok, you’re seriously messed up”.

Slightly longer version of this article: “Look, I’ve had 20 people look at me cross-eyed, so I know I can handle a gun in an emergency. The rest of you can’t, and I know this because I am better at this than you are. Just ask me, I’ll tell you. And even though I give a great example of someone like you who handled things correctly, he’s the exception to the rest of you brain-dead schmucks. And he’s the exception because I say so. The rest of you guys can’t handle things as well as he did. So there.

Look, I understand that this site needs a certain amount of, ah, stimulating conversation, but some editorial oversight is necessary, lest TTAG become TMZ with guns.”

The problem is, that’s not how the article appears on the site: The critique (offered up in good faith) was edited out.

Now, compare what ExurbanKevin says he wrote to what is displayed on TTAG:

TTAG Stealth-Edited ExurbanKevin's Comment

As he says, the criticism he specifically leveled against TTAG and its editorial practices was removed, although, amusingly, the criticisms he leveled against MikeB302000’s idiotic post at TTAG were allowed to remain. Apparently Robert only has a thin skin when it is his skin on the line.

ExurbanKevin goes on to say,

Blogs are only effective when they listen to and respond to user comments. Blogs that don’t do this are echo chambers, not centers of honest discussion.

Just so. By editing out any comments or parts of comments that may appear to be critical of the site, the way the site is run, or the editorial practices of the site, Robert is creating the false impression that all the commenters and readers at TTAG are happy with the site as a whole. Obviously this perception is important to Robert, since he needs to be able to show his advertisers a high-traffic, popular, positively-viewed site in order to make his money, but that perception is as hollow as the mythical Potemkin Villages of yore.

The true irony of Robert’s iron grip on the comments at TTAG will become apparent as you read farther through this post and learn about Robert decrying pro-rights authors for supposedly "denying readers access to original source material" by not linking to anti-rights weblogs. Apparently it is wholly acceptable for Robert to deny his readership the "original source material" of people who disagree with the way he is running his site, however.

And just so we are all on the same page here, Robert Farago is more than welcome to respond to this post in comments, or however else he sees fit, and so long as he abides by the commenting policy here at "walls of the city", I will be more than happy to let that comment stand. If he decides to disregard that policy, I will not hesitate to edit, or even delete, the comment as appropriate, however, I will unquestionably indicate that I did, indeed, edit the comment in question and possibly even explain why. This site is not an echo chamber incapable of standing up to criticisms… unlike, apparently, TTAG.

Speaking personally, most of my readers are probably thoroughly familiar with my "graphics matter" series of posts documenting how various pieces of anti-rights propaganda are not only wholly wrong, they are actually almost the opposite of what is currently going on. Back on 07JUN11, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Ownership took my image, reposted it on their Facebook feed without attribution or any indication of where it came from, and misrepresented it as "proof" that the Brady Act and various other gun-rights-restricting laws "worked". Obviously, this is not the case, as we discussed in the source post for that image, but the anti-rights cultists were never ones to let little things like "facts" get in the way of their propaganda.

Unfortunately, neither was Robert Farago. He happily reposted the image the Brady Campaign had stolen with the same exact tag-line, to quote "Gun deaths plummet after the Brady Law and Assault Weapons Ban are passed". And, just like the Brady Campaign, he did so without a link back to my site, without a link back to the post the image came from, and without even mentioning where the image was from. Apparently Robert has no problems carrying the water of those who would deprive us of our Constitutionally-protected rights.

I left a comment clarifying what the graphic actually showed and calling Robert on the carpet for not only misrepresenting my work, but also failing to provide any attribution or mention of where it came from. Unsurprisingly, Robert edited my comment to remove my criticisms of him and then proceeded to completely miss the point of citations for internet purposes.

Make no mistake, I tried to make it as easy as possible for people to figure out where the image came from – there is a very clear " ©" on the side of the image in a location that would make it almost impossible (or, at least, obvious) to remove, and once at my site, searching for the keywords on the graphic will point you to the origination post pretty quickly. But Robert – one of those supposed "authorized journalists" of our time – could not be bothered to adequately research the material he was not only not-really discussing, but reposting with a blatantly specious misrepresentation of the material. I really do not care that he put up a copy of my image, after all, I pretty much say people are welcome to do so; I care that he did not even bother so much as to link back to my site, indicate that the graphic was not the product of the Brady Campaign (any paltry attempts-and-fails at citations came after or during our email conversation), or attempt to correct the malicious hijacking of the message by mental midgets who obviously did not understand the graphic they were looking at.


Given his exploitation of the community, it should come as no great surprise that Robert Farago has a remarkably dim view of firearm owners as a whole.

Robert Farago Blames the Victim

For example, in a post on 04FEB11 entitled "Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Anyone Who Doesn’t Lock Up His Guns", Robert trots out the standard "blame the victim" mentality of people who say a woman with a short skirt was "asking for it", or people who believe we should criminally prosecute firearm owners who have firearms stolen from them but who choose not to notify the police within an arbitrary amount of time, for whatever reason.

In effect, this is nothing more than the continuation of the "collective responsibility" fallacy perpetuated by so many "gun control" extremists wherein they lay the blame for violent crime at the feet of law-abiding firearm owners and not at the feet of those who actually commit the crime. In this particular instance, Robert is all about blaming firearm owners if their firearms get stolen from them, while simultaneously trying to appease both sides of the fence by blaming the criminals as well.

Sorry, Robert, but it does not work that way. One party, and one party alone, is responsible for the theft of a firearm, or any inanimate personal possession you care to name – the person who picked up a piece of property that was not theirs and then absconded with it. It does not matter if you live in a "rough neighborhood", it does not matter if the theft could have been predictable, it does not matter if you left the door unlocked / the keys in the ignition / etc. etc. etc.; the only thing that matters is a certain person of lacking moral character took something that did not belong to them when they knew it did not belong to them. That is a conscious, willful decision that the thief made of his own free will, and he alone bears complete and total responsibility, accountability, and blame for it.

If a person takes something that is not theirs, the person who owned the property is in no way responsible for that theft, and that is all there is to it. Of course, given Robert’s wholly incorrect understanding of copyright law, "fair use", and intellectual property, it does not surprise me that he is in such a hurry to blame the victim… after all, "if it is on the internet it is fair game", in his own words.

Robert Farago's Sexism, Racism, and Ageism

Moving forward, Robert seemed to become increasingly willing to be a useful idiot for those who would deprive us of our rights, and in a post on 23JUL11, he happily explained that the acronym "OFWG" you will see crop up on TTAG from time to time refers to "Old Fat White Guys" who apparently "account for a disproportionately large percentage of shooters preparing for an full-on, multi-magazine gunfight", in his words.

In the same post, he proceeds to explain that only "law-abiding citizens of color living in high crime neighborhoods" "need" live-fire self-defense training, and any "OFWG" who pays for and enjoys such training is obviously (at least according to Robert’s maliciously leading questions) either a paranoiac or a "retarded adolescent replaying gunfighting scene [sic] from Hollywood’s fertile imagination". In a later comment, Robert called the training video highlighted in his post (said video has unfortunately been removed) a "fantasy camp for the permanently paranoid".

So with that racism, sexism, ageism, and apparent animosity / hatred / etc. dispensed with, in almost the same breath, Robert wants to ensure we all understand he supports and defends the Second Amendment and believes anyone who wants to carry a gun, and is legally able to do so, should.

Why do I have such a hard time believing him?

Robert Farago and MikeB302000

Perhaps the most damning piece of evidence regarding Robert Farago’s viewpoint of firearm owners is the fact that MikeB302000 is a writer at The Truth About Guns.

I have already extensively documented personification of "fail" that is MikeB302000 / Michael Bonomo, including his illegally owning a firearm and probable history of illegal drug abuse / dealing, so there is no need to rehash all of that here in this post; however, one thing does need to be made clear: MikeB302000 absolutely, rabidly hates firearm owners, their rights, and the fact that we are unwilling to give up either those rights or our firearms.

How can I say such a thing? Simple. I looked at his words:

MikeB302000 at TTAG

Your 2A rights are the result of a purposeful distortion and twisting of the original intent. The 1A ideas, on the other hand such as freedom of religion and speech, are eternal.

The 2A should be treated as the meaningless anachronistic nonsense it is.


No, that’s not what the bullying is. The bullying is open carrying a gun. It’s demanding the right to carry in Starbucks. It’s insisting that the rest of us are safer because you carry. That’s what bullying is.

And that is just one example of his comments at TTAG. At his own site (which I will not link to), MikeB302000 goes on to explain how a person’s firearm-related rights should be forever and irrevocably denied if the person ever drops a gun, has a negligent discharge, improperly stores a firearm such that a child gets his hands on it, improperly stores a firearm such that it is stolen, brandishes his gun, loses a gun, or brings a gun to an airport because you forgot it was in a bag. Note that most/all of those situations do not even involve people getting hurt by your actions, and further note that the first one is something almost everyone will invariably end up doing.

Drop a gun – lose your rights as protected under the Second Amendment. Forever. Yeah, that sounds like the very paragon of liberty right there.

And yet this is a person Robert has entrusted with the valet keys to The Truth About Guns. Why? Well, to quote Robert:

Robert Farago is Butthurt

The idea of excluding gun control advocates and leaving out links to pro-gun control websites never occurred to me. How can I respect the freedom of speech while restricting readers to one point of view? By the same token, how can I deny readers access to original source material so that they can judge the integrity of my analysis? The truth flourishes in a vigorous marketplace of ideas. It lies fallow in the cold sterility of an empty echo chamber.

Except that explanation falls short in almost every regard. How does his not giving authorship to a rabidly anti-rights extremist "restrict readers to one point of view"? Are his readers so stupid that they cannot operate Google? Are his readers so incompetent that they cannot click on the link embedded in MikeB302000’s screen name when he comments? Is he so journalistically useless that he cannot occasionally plumb the depths of the "gun control" weblogs and find something to write about there? And how does blockquoting or screen capturing – as I have done here for TTAG – "deny readers access to original source material"? It is not hard to discuss something without actually linking to it, and it is no more difficult to make it easy for people to search for the material in question if they really want to read it themselves.

No, the answer is far simpler than Robert’s assumed mantle of false piety; in fact, the answer is so simple that it can be expressed in a single symbol: $. MikeB302000 is contentious, and contentious things invariably create more comments and discussion, which invariably creates more traffic, page views, and other happy little numbers Robert can – and does, on a monthly basis now – show off to his advertisers and those he wishes would be advertisers. In the end, Robert’s interest in TTAG, and the firearm community as a whole, stems from nothing more complicated than trying to make a buck, which explains his ready willingness to exploit and abuse those around him so long as he can profit from it.

In his pursuit of the almighty dollar, though, he has given a rabid anti-rights authoritarian writer’s privileges at TTAG; this unquestionably means that MikeB302000 and his views represent the views of TTAG, which rather says something about the site, does it not? Especially a site with such a… self-aggrandizing name.

And just to come back around to a previous point, how, exactly, does Robert reconcile his admonition about "restricting readers to one point of view" and his documented history of editing out parts of comments at TTAG that are critical of himself or his site? He is, after all, restricting the site’s readership to only positive, or at least neutral, viewpoints of the site, which dishonestly colors the perception of that site.

As with so many narcissists, Robert is, of course, above the rules he would seek to impose on you.


It should probably come as no surprise that Robert’s misbehavior and reprehensible actions are not limited exclusively to the internet; he is just as maladjusted, offensive, and troublesome in the carbon world as well. For example, this story from the 2011 NRA Annual Meetings was forwarded to me by another gunblogger (I was not present for this unfortunate event):

One of the off-site events held for gun bloggers at the 2011 NRA Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh was the “Gunny Prom”. The Second Amendment Foundation had approached Breda of the gun blog Breda Fallacy to help organize the event as well as to handle the invitations to bloggers; the "Gunny Prom" was an effort to bring bloggers up to date on the legal cases brought by the Second Amendment Foundation.

The event included talks by Alan Gottlieb as well as attorneys Alan Gura and David Jensen. It also featured the awarding of the Soldier of Fortune Magazine’s 2nd Amendment Freedom Fighter Awards for 2011, which were presented to Mike Vanderboegh, David Codrea, and Dave Workman by the publisher of SOF, LTC Robert Brown, for the work they had done to bring out the facts of the Project Gunwalker scandal.

After the awards, the SAF’s presentations, and the official Q&A session, a number of bloggers gathered to ask more questions of attorney Alan Gura. I was one of those bloggers as I had questions for Alan Gura about the North Carolina case brought by the Second Amendment Foundation.

Among the questions asked of Alan were if he owned any firearms, and, if so, what were they? He was reluctant to answer this question as he explained that it was imperative for him to be seen in the courts and by the media as a civil rights advocate and not merely a gunny lawyer. He finally agreed to answer the question after he had everyone’s agreement that what he said was strictly off the record and not to be reported. One of the most reluctant to agree to this was Robert Farago.

After Alan reported on his firearm(s), Farago began berating Alan for his choices and insistently asking what training Alan had, how often he practiced, and if it could be arranged would Alan go on a training course. Farago reported on some of this discussion on TTAG:

Robert Farago Ignores Alan Gura

Meanwhile, after a quick off-the-record conversation about Gura’s personal self-defense, I offered to do what I could to provide him with some free firearms training. If someone amongst TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia could help hook up gun owners’ foremost defender with some serious self-defense training gratis, I’d be much obliged.

Of all people, Alan Gura should be able to exercise his Second Amendment rights effectively. That kind of irony we don’t need, if you know what I mean.

Farago’s behavior was rude, borderline condescending, and overly aggressive. Gura’s response was to play it cool as befits an appellate attorney who has argued and won before the Supreme Court. I think he just wanted to end the discussion and get out of there.

It was later related to me by a friend of Alan’s to whom I related this incident that Alan was actually rather furious over the whole incident. While this is hearsay, the person telling me this is trustworthy beyond reproach and is very well regarded within the gun rights movement.

I am very slow to anger but I was fuming about this incident. I remember asking Brian aka Cemetery’s Gun Blob who the F@#* was this Farago guy. He told me that he used to run The Truth About Cars and had sold that site. We both surmised that Farago was only into guns as that seemed like a hot topic on which he could make a buck.

Fortunately that was the last time I saw Farago that weekend. He was not invited to the Gunny Prom after-party which was just as well. I removed TTAG from my blogroll after we got home and have never linked to him since. In my eyes, his behavior towards Alan Gura who had put it all on the line for all gun owners with his work on Heller and McDonald was unforgivable.

As I said, I was not present for any of this, but the basic details have been corroborated by other individuals who did witness Robert’s unfortunate behavior, and who had very similar responses to the same. Obviously, it is no one’s business what firearms Mr. Gura does or does not own, nor what kind of training he has had or has not had, and demeaning a man’s choices for no good reason and publishing something that person would have rather kept under wraps are wholly unacceptable behaviors for anyone, much less someone who is trying to shoehorn his way into a community that tends to look out for its own.

In a similar vein, at the recent Gun Rights Policy Conference put on by the Second Amendment Foundation, Robert had the opportunity to interview Emily Miller, and went about it in probably the worst possible way, only to outdo himself in his write-up of that interview.

For those not in the know, Emily Miller has been pretty much the voice for illuminating just how onerous, draconian, and pointless the District of Columbia’s firearm laws are, and has been thoroughly documenting her attempts to remain legal while owning firearms in her column at The Washington Times. Suffice to say, the process has not been a particularly easy one, and Emily has done an outstanding job uncovering all the ways the D.C. political machine has found to bypass, work around, and ignore the recent D.C. vs. Heller Supreme Court decision.

Robert Farago Attacks Emily Miller

Anywise, as I said, Robert had the opportunity to interview this crusader for individual rights, and proceeded to grill her on what she carries, where she carries, whether or not she would be willing to ignore D.C.’s cumbersome laws on certain points, and so forth… Are we seeing a pattern of "gotcha" journalism yet? He then proceeded to blog about all of this, putting it in the public domain, including her using a head-call as an excuse to get away from this obnoxious idiot verbally assaulting her in the hallway.

Emily Miller's Opinion of Robert FaragoOr, to put it in Emily’s words on Twitter, "I hadn’t seen that so thank you for sending it to me. I thought he was creepy and unnerved me but talked to him for 10 min." and "He freaked me out, jumping out at me in the hall alone. Pounded me with Qs about carrying." In a comment at Shall Not Be Infringed, Emily expanded on those points saying:

Thank you so much for this post. I felt ambushed by that guy. He was very creepy and jumpy, which made me nervous. I should have trusted my instincts, but instead stayed and answered all his questions politely. I don’t know why he feels the need to repeatedly attack me for being a girl and for not having extensive training in the six months I’ve owned a gun. That’s all true, but I’ve also gotten the gun laws changed in D.C. to make it easier to get a legal gun, so the haters don’t affect my work!

I guess that sexism thing is a monkey Robert just cannot shake; wonderful guy to have as a self-appointed face of the firearm community, is he not? Emily deserves a great deal of credit for taking the time to answer the impolite and frankly impertinent questions from someone who had no business demanding that kind of information from her, but, honestly, if someone comes up to you on the street and starts asking those kinds of questions from you, even if they are an "authorized journalist", your best bet is probably telling the boorish jackass to pound sand. Unlike Farago, Emily does not need to constantly proclaim her pro-rights credentials – she lives them every day – and it is absolutely no one’s business what you carry, why you carry, where you carry, or any of the rest of that nonsense. Emily has a blog; I am pretty sure if she wanted to share that information, she could figure out how.

And then entitling the post about this interview, "Gun Rights Policy Conference: Emily Miller Hasn’t Done Force-on-Force Training and Has to Go to the Bathroom Real Bad"? I once referred to Robert Farago as a "yellow journalist"; apparently I was being too kind.

Speaking of, when I pointed former Deputy Press Secretary for the State Department and current Senior Editor Emily Miller towards an explanation of the "black list" fiasco (to be discussed in a bit), her response regarding Robert’s behavior was, "WHOA! No integrity. None."

I tend to agree.


On an amusing note, Robert apparently never learned the admonition that one should be careful what one asks for. A good while back, a small number of us gunbloggers put our heads together and compared notes and realized that (A) we all had somewhat similar opinions about Robert, TTAG, and the behavior he was exhibiting there, and (2) had absolutely no reason, inclination, or desire to link back there ever again, just for the sake of not appearing to support his idiocy. It was kind of one of those "Ahah!" moments when you realize that, in fact, you are not the only person to have noticed that the sky is blue or something like that.

In any case, when Chris from AK threw out the idea that we should boycott anti-rights weblogs in their entirety, Weer’d figured we should go ahead and include TTAG and at least be consistent on that front. Eventually, Robert found out about this communal denying him of link traffic, and… well… went off the deep end. It was a conspiracy! We were being mean to him! We owed him links! It is just not FAIR! And so forth.

The sad thing was that it was just a group of likeminded folks reaching a similar conclusion in their own way, and then realizing they were not alone.

But, hey, now that you mention a blacklist, Robert, maybe we should make one. What do you say?

Yes, that is, indeed, a listing of every firearm-related weblog the authors of that particular site could find, and then a few more… well, every firearm-related weblog except The Truth About Guns, which you will find is notably lacking from that site’s list. I guess you got what you wanted after all, eh, Robert?

And just to round things out, I would like to introduce the readers of this post to a neologism created by a commenter at "walls of the city":

Faragosis (n.) – The act or attempted act of being a d*ck within the gun-rights community.

I honestly cannot think of a better example to hold up of what not to do in the firearm-related weblogging community, and wholeheartedly endorse the adoption of this new word.


In the Uniform Code of Military Justice, you will find the phrase "pattern of misconduct" used to describe situations wherein a service member has committed multiple, repeated, minor infractions against "the UCMJ, military regulations, the civil law, and time-honored customs and traditions of the military", and while each of those infractions are insufficient individually to discharge the member from the military, collectively they show a definable pattern of "conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline" and thus a reason to get that rotten apple out of the basket.

Likewise, once upon a time, our Founding Fathers used the phrase "a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing from the same Object" to refer to the repeated injustices King George III forced upon the American colonists; each injustice, in and of itself, was insufficient cause to engage in a shooting war, but when taken as a group… well, here we are, not speaking the Queen’s English.

When you take them one-by-one, Robert Farago’s infractions against the laws of the land, common courtesy, and the accepted mores and customs of the internet are not that serious, and something that can be waved aside as a momentary lapse in better judgment. However, when you look at the dataset as a whole, and realize that these are repeated infractions, often of the same type despite others pointing out and his admitting error in regards to similar infractions in the past… well, the "long train of abuses" or "pattern of misconduct" become quite clear.

I am not one to tell people what they should or should not do, but why would you support a site that engages in such intentionally malicious behavior, whether that support is with links, with views, or with comments? Why would you encourage such reprehensible behavior, tacitly through traffic or actively through actually defending it? Why would you tolerate these kinds of attacks – both outright and backhanded – against the rights protected by the Second Amendment and against those who would stand up to defend and exercise them?

I, for one, am not going to, and I sincerely hope you take a moment and consider the activities documented in here before you continue visiting The Truth About Guns, or link to them in the future. Thank you for your time – if you read through this whole thing you deserve some kind of award.

84 thoughts on “the truth about the truth about guns and robert farago”

  1. Thanks for putting all of this together in one place (To Linoge and all that contributed). There were incidents I hadn’t heard before and details of which I was unaware.

  2. I knew there was some issues (minor, I thought), but with this history review… well, let’s just say TTAG bookmark deleted. Honesty & integrity should and do count.

  3. I’ve read about all of this as it happened, but thanks for putting it all in one place.

    Too bad you can’t get Mr. Gura to sue Farago for copyright infringement, that would be awesome to watch.

  4. Jay G is right — still, someone had to do it and Linoge has done it up *brown.* The guy-who-I-won’t-mention is a boor. If gunblogging was a bar, he’d be the person getting attention by ralphing all over the bartop.

  5. Wow, long post! But now I understand why I keep seeing links to his website disappearing from the other sites I read. It’s too bad that the editor is such a because there sounds like there is at least one or two good people writing for them.

  6. Robert(a)X nailed it – it’s great that Linoge did this, don’t get me wrong. I just fear that Farago won’t get it.

    Perhaps, though, SAF and other organizations might start googling before handing out awards…

  7. Another advantage is that this post serves as a clearing house.

    For example, say Instapundit gives this clown another link. Well, now we can give Prof Reynolds a polite email with a link to this place. And gently point out the type of person he’s linking too.

    A lot of this stuff is “inside baseball” and some don’t know the story behind it.

  8. As an Attendee to the Gunnie Prom, I heard the Brouhaha from the Hallway leading into the room where the speaking was going on. But as a Commentator, I stayed in the Hallway so that the Gun Bloggers could get their Blogfodder easier. I can verify that the Ruckus that RF was raising did occur. And the guy nearly ran me over trying to get out of there. And at the After Party, while having Adult Beverages at Lidia’s, Alan Gura was NOT a “Happy Camper.”

    FWIW, this past Monday, some GunBloggers were in town, and Breda invited my Wife and myself for an impromptu Blogmeet. (We live about 5 miles from Breda, BTW.) Alan from Snarkybytes was there, and RF came up for a brief discussion. But he has left such a Bad Taste in our Mouths, that we soon moved on to something else.

    Why RF acts like he does is beyond me. But I wish someone with Deep Pockets can get this guy when he steals again. And why he tends to go after Women Shooters, well, I think he better watch his step, because one day he can P.O the Wrong Lady with Deep Pockets, and then I can see a Lawsuit happening.

  9. Thank you for an enlightening article, well laid-out case ! I was unaware of those incidents ! I will not go to TTAG !!

  10. I had read some things about this guy from Weer’d’s site when I first started blogging, so I avoided him and his blog entirely. Glad I did!

  11. Thanks for putting this post together. I started reading hints about this topic recently, and I’m glad it’s all in the open now, in one place.

  12. Thanks for putting this all together Linoge. Yeoman’s work to be sure.

    The SAF award was a wake up call that simply ignoring the snake in our midst isn’t very effective. We often post on topics that are funny or interesting but then just try to ignore the bad actors. In hindsight that seems like a poor way to deal with it.

    Thanks for showing the way.

  13. “The SAF award was a wake up call that simply ignoring the snake in our midst isn’t very effective. “

    As the said in the GI Joe cartoons of yesteryear, “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.”

    Now let’s up our game to make his site utterly irrelevant.

    Living well is the best revenge.

  14. @ Bubblehead Les:
    “But I wish someone with Deep Pockets can get this guy when he steals again.”

    Fair use suits are tough. I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve been involved in a couple situations before they went to court. What a lawyer does first is send a cease and desist letter and if the other party complies, it’s done. If not, then you pursue more expensive and time-consuming measures. But even getting the lawyer to send a letter is a couple hundred bucks, and all RF has to do is yank the image or copy from his site.

    What’s better is to think of ways to draw traffic away from RF’s site and let it die on the vine.

  15. Nice work Linoge! He’s been on my skunk-radar for a while as a stinker and I won’t link-to or traffic in his “work” – he DOES remind me of a Publisher I once had when I was doing motorcycle cartooning and not in a good way. I had to quit that.

  16. @ Ron Larimer: Oh, I never really read TTAG, and I doubt any of the people I mentioned above really read it much either, but we cannot help but to notice when traffic comes in from there. I only knew about Farago misrepresenting my “graphics matter” image thanks to one of his commenters letting me know, and then putting up a link in their comments pointing people back my way.

    @ Awelowynt: I think I speak for all of us when I say you are most welcome. I will not say the assembly process for this post was particularly enjoyable, but it is necessary to get the information out there, and consolidate it to one location.

    @ Lord Sega: And that, right there, is why we wrote this post – thank you for providing a perfect case example :).

    @ instinct: I think Farago chooses who he steals from very carefully; I mean, seriously, do you think Weer’d or I or even Tam will actually bother to sue him for yanking our stuff? Not worth the time/money necessary, and he knows it.

    @ Cargosquid: Thanks :). Coincidentally, I was doing exactly that when you put up your comment :). I doubt it will matter – I have emailed Instapundit before, and the messages disappeared into the bit sea with nary a ripple.

    @ Jay G.: I may be being presumptive / assumptive at the moment, but I dare say you are missing the point of this post. I have absolutely no aspirations of attempting to dissuade Robert Farago from his blatantly dishonest, borderline sociopathic behavior; instead, people like Lord Sega and Awelowynt up there are why we took the time to put all of this together. There are a non-zero number of people inside the gunblogger community and amongst the general population who honestly believe TTAG is the best thing since sliced bread, and who only see these documented events – if they are aware of them at all – through the carefully controlled lens Robert shines on them. My hope is to reach those people and show to them that Robert’s little empire is built on thievery, backstabbing, and so forth.

    What those people do with that information is their decision – as I said, I will not tell them what to do – but I at least would prefer that they had that information available to them.

    @ Roberta X: My Android WordPress app lets me edit comments now! I had no idea, hence my publishing your “crud, I dropped an ‘a'” comment, too… once I fixed this one, though, I went ahead and whacked the other :).

    You know I had to look up that phrase, right? Apparently no one knows where it came from, but thanks all the same :).

    @ JTwig: And now understanding dawns. *points at this comment for Jay G 😉 *

    I will certainly grant that there are a few good authors at TTAG – Nick Leghorn being one of them – but I have to seriously question those writers’ ethics given that they continue to work for Robert. Sure, there is the allure of what TTAG could be in the future (assuming Robert ever manages to correct is craniorectal insertion, which is doubtful), but is that really worth hitching your wagon to someone who has the integrity of Mr. Quisling himself?

    @ The Jack: Also that. Most of this was public information already, but it was in a post here, a twitter stream there, an image over that-a-way, and so forth. Now, when people inquire as to why you will have nothing to do with a certain Robert Farago, you need only mutely point to this page, and wait.

    @ Bubblehead Les: Well, to go backwards for a moment, I dare say Farago acts the way he does because (1) he thinks it is in his best interests and (b) he thinks he can get away with it. By and large he is right about the second one – like you and I said, no one is going to bother prosecuting him unless they have piles of cash with nothing better to do – but maybe this post will help people inform him he was sorely mistaken about the first.

    Yours was one of the accounts I was indirectly referencing with my mention of “corroboration” – I remember seeing your comments at various sites discussing the meeting with Gura and the after-party and how Robert proved to be such a heinous boor, to understate things considerably. I am hoping this will be the last time I feel encouraged to discuss his underhanded behavior, but something tells me he will just keep on going on…

    @ davidc: Trust me, it was a challenge to put all of this together in a fashion that did not overwhelm the readers; hopefully I was successful. Thanks for reading!

    @ agirlandhergun: The sad thing is that I cannot say you missed much, except a textbook example of how not to shoehorn yourself into a society. But given your record, I doubt you need that ;).

    @ devheart: Yeah, this is another case of various gunbloggers all reaching roughly the same conclusion at roughly the same time, and then deciding to compare notes before moving forward. The good thing is I keep copious notes (half the posts you see on this site are only written to remind myself about something in the future), so I (got) volunteered to put all this together. There were in excess of 20 gunbloggers with access to this post before I finally put it up, so some folks were dropping hints :).

    @ Knitebane: Yeah, like I said, I have no real hope of changing Robert’s behavior, but I do want to make it clear that neither I nor the majority of the gunbloggers I talked to about it approve of / condone / support that behavior. TTAG is very nearly alone in the gunblogosphere, and one can only hope that “very nearly” will go away soon.

    @ North: I am not sure if I could condense it if I tried, but I will get in touch with you about putting up either a teaser or some shorter compendium of the offenses… maybe I should go through and anchor-text the “highlights” and we could link to that? Though not any time soon, unfortunately – need to ship shirts and prepare for a Mother-in-Law inspection visit.

    @ ExurbanKevin: Bingo.

    And, trust me, I would very much prefer to never have to write another post like this, or even expand this one. I doubt I will be able to get away with that, though.

    @ Tom: Yup, a fair use lawsuit is pricey and Farago knows it – he probably got more than a few C&Ds in his time at TTAC. But I am hoping people read this post and stop linking to / commenting at his site, and then he will just pack up his bags and look for another green pasture to crap all over.

    A vain hope, I know, but it is still there.

    @ NotClauswitz: I am rather surprised more of his writers have not quite TTAG… I wonder what he is promising them, and I wonder what will happen when they realize he cannot deliver.

  17. Thank you for the uber-post on this whole mess. I had seen snippets here and there, but nothing explaining everything from the beginning.

    He is now and forever off my reading list.

    I do notice that Keep and Bear Arms links to him an awful lot, though.

  18. @ Tom:
    Good points.

    Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notices were, the last time I sent one (a few years ago or so), good ways to address stolen-content matters. One jerk who stole from me–I’m a writer–lost his AdSense account. His entire site was also removed from Google search results. That crippled his revenue stream, which is what he gets for thievery.

    It’s worth looking into. My info might be outdated because it’s been a few years since I’ve dealt with that sort of thing, but I didn’t have to have an attorney or even a letterhead to send the notices.

  19. @ Dogzard:
    I can’t speak for any other NewsLinks editor but the main reason *I* link to TTAG frequently is there is lots of content and lots of content = lots of links.

  20. I appreciate the time and effort that went into this post. I will give it an appropriate level of consideration and reflection.

    Meanwhile, anyone who wishes to discuss these matters with me is welcome to call me on 401 835 5054.

  21. @ Bruce W. Krafft:
    Which is the very reason I also stopped going to It used to contain links from all over the web, and was my first stop daily when I fired up my interweb machine, then it just became a mirror for BSAG, so I quit going there also.

  22. @ Dogzard: Yeah, we had concluded that was the need for this post – we had all written up most of our encounters with Farago and his borderline sociopathic behavior, but that documentation was all in separate posts at separate sites and the impact of them was somewhat diluted. But with it all right here in one massive post? Hard to overlook.

    I cannot speak to Keep and Bear Arms but I am disappointed Instapundit continues to link to him (though not recently). Like I said, I did email Mr. Reynolds, so I guess we will see. It is incoming links from megasites like those that keep scumbag like Farago running, so hopefully they will reconsider.

    @ Myra: Good call – DMCA takedown notices go to the site’s service provider, who then has to either take down the offending information in question or face some very stiff penalties. The only catch is that Farago can then file a “put back” notice, and then we are back into lawsuit-land being the only option. Still, for those people whose stolen material is still on TTAG, it might be worth the effort.

    Really, though, the only surefire way to end the thievery is to cut his traffic to the point where exploiting the gunblogger community becomes less-than-profitable for him, and I can only hope this post serves as an initial nudge to start heading people in that direction.

    @ Bruce W. Krafft: I guess the question becomes whether or not you are going to continue linking to TTAG’s content, given that content is built on a foundation of despicable actions.

    @ Robert Farago: One can only hope you mean what you say, but past experience has taught me to keep that hope very controlled.

    And while I do have to give you some limited credit for being willing to put your phone number out in the public eye like that, I am quite happy with keeping our communications in a format that can be easily recorded and reproduced, and I would strongly recommend that all of my readers do the same. Last I checked, it is something around a felony to record an interstate phone conversation without all parties being amenable, while emails remain the property of both the sender and the recipient, to do with as they please. I am sure, as a former journalist, you understand the need for keeping good records. If you want to talk, I know you have my email address, or we can have our discussion here; unlike you, I do not shy away from editorial conversations within posts.

  23. Heh, I can not believe any pro 2A website allows mikebbunchanumbers to post his actual articles/fact-free drivel.

    He tried to play his game at Daily Kos and a our RKBA group pretty well showed his writings for the pile of lies and dreck they were…

    He ended up getting himself and a few of his acolytes banned after a couple months for sheer nastiness and lack of coherency/truth……

    The sheer idiocy and lack of reason in his posts even turned off the pro gun control members of Kos for the most part….

    I have never really liked or read TTAG so I can not really comment there, but if mikey is posting, it does not say much for the sites credibility….

    hahahahaha……. mikbbunchanumbers, a joke from the past….

    signed, a long haired hippy type daily carrying liberal…..


  24. Way back when I started blogging, Farago approached me about writing for TTAG. (This was before he offered money to his writers.) I agreed to cross-post some of my articles onto TTAG.

    But my experience mirrors what rubberbaron described: editorial meddling behind my back (under my byline), which significantly altered the tone and content of my writing.

    The deceptive alteration and selective removal of comments was another factor. His coddling and encouragement of MikeB cinched the deal for me. 3 posts (I think) were all that I gave TTAG.

  25. @ buddabelly: Yup, I actually blogged about MikeB302000 being banned from DK when it happened… I have to admit, speaking as a Navy veteran, I was remarkably disgusted by his words and actions on that site, but that was rather his point.

    It really does speak volumes about TTAG that he is given authorship rights there. What a person to have representing your site.

    @ Gunnutmegger: That is rather the interesting thing about the situation – Farago has no previously known gunbloggers working for him at the moment, so far as I can tell / remember. I wonder how many other people he reached out to had similar experiences as you – I know one person has already emailed me with a remarkably familiar story. And, like I said, I wonder what he is promising his current batch of lackeys.

  26. Myra wrote:

    @ Tom:
    One jerk who stole from me–I’m a writer–lost his AdSense account.

    That’s just what it is — stealing. I do a lot of writing in the financial industry, and I know how hard it is to come up with original content that isn’t just recombining somebody else’s stuff. But our culture has devalued written content. And I’m not saying that because I feel sorry for myself (I don’t make most of my income from writing, anyway). No one wants to pay for content, so writers don’t get paid much, and the quality of writing goes down. So, a place like TTAG goes out and steals some content here and there to flesh the site out and just shrugs off complaints because, after all, it’s just poor writers who are bitching. What are they gonna’ do, and what is their writing worth? I have no idea why any of TTAG’s regular contributors would write for RF. Most of them just offer color commentary on the gun news of the day, but there are a couple that generate some interesting stuff. They should work on building their own brands, not TTAG’s.

  27. @ Bruce W. Krafft:
    Come on now. I’m fairly certain, or at least I would hope you were intelligent enough to figure that out. It’s not rocket surgery.
    The reason I quit going to BSAG was a rather drawn out argument with, I believe Farago (it’s been a couple of years), in which he was dead set on the institution of a firearms registry.
    In addition to his gun registry advocacy, only my comments that were least damaging to his position were posted. Any website claiming to support firearms right, that advocates for a gun registry, and censors accurate comments is,
    pardon my french, bull shit(BSAG).

  28. @Linoge, my understanding from my call center days (glad those are long gone) is that there is no federal law covering that, you have to look at the wiretapping laws of both states. Some states have mutual consent/notification laws; whereas, some states only require a single party to be aware of the situation. That said, text is probably a better format for such conversations.

  29. On Kos, we have a very active Pro Second Amendment group of both gun owners and those who understand the 2nds importance even if they choose not to own a gun currently. We formed to debunk the lies and misleading nonsense that spews from the VPC/Brady bunch/bunchanumbers of the world and to show that being a Democrat/liberal/left libertarian does not mean you have to be anti gun or pro gun control.

    Mike was so bad that even our most staunchly pro gun control Kossaks could not stand him or his writing….. He had a couple fans who were some of the worst anti trolls on the site….His one redeeming feature is they got banned along with him if not before attempting to defend his nonsense.

    It is a dang shame that a subject like the Second is allowed to succumb to the
    R vs D nonsense that is destroying our liberty a step at a time…

    Maybe someday we will realize we have more in common than not and work together to end atrocities like the Patriot act and idiocy like the Hughes amendment…..

    We have actually changed a lot of minds there, and exposed a ton of the baseless fearmongering for what it is, dreck unworthy to be published…. Still working to get the dang AWB nonsense fully ashcanned like it deserves but nothing happens over night….

    Please remember, there are lots of us on the left fighting the good fight also.


    Heck, some of us even reload and cast and such….heh…

  30. Pingback: Bump for Truth »
  31. Just read your post on bunchanumbers banning along with the comments….KV is another of our founding members in the RKBA group, small blogosphere…. Though we were an organized group long before the site architecture made it easy.

    You and I actually sound very close in political philosophies. I am about as far down in the left bottom corner you can get on the The Political Compass test site…..More of a left libertarian/anarcho syndicalist than a true Liberal but liberal is easier to type and requires less explanation…..Plus, I would still rather have a liberal helping of pie than a conservative one…heh….

    Actually a common place for us border dwelling Zonies (35 miles as the quail flies) to be……Right or Left, we all tend to small l libertarianism…. The Goldwater legacy still holds in many ways though Barry was just the norm, not unusual for a Arizonan.

  32. @ Tom: Prexactly. I am far from a professional photographer, and I probably never will be one, but when TTAG goes and steals someone else’s image without permission or even a “by your leave”, I spin up faster than an ICBM. And when that person tells you to take down the image – their intellectual property – and you basically tell them to pack sand? Well, posts like this are pretty much the end result.

    @ Bruce W. Krafft: So should I take your dodging of my question as a “Yes, I will keep linking to TTAG”? Your behavior on K&BA seems to bear that out.

    @ Joey: Really? I could have sworn there were Federal laws against wiretapping, but maybe they only apply to actual governmental authorities? Here in Tennessee, only one party of the conversation needs to be aware that the conversation is being recorded for it to be legal, so I could record any phone conversation I liked? Interesting… will have to look into this more.

    In any case, any conversations or communications I have with Robert Farago will be in writing and republishable, and I would strongly advise that everyone else do the same.

    @ buddabelly: So aside from my inability to reconcile the individuality that is required in firearm ownership and the collectivist nature of the modern Democrat / “progressive” movement, I see no rational reason why a person belonging to the latter could not own firearms and defend the rights to do so, so no worries on that count. I, too, am somewhat frustrated that the D/R line seems to have been arbitrarily chosen as the pro/anti-firearms line, but that seems to be the situation these days.

    The funny thing is that I am probably about as far down in the lower-right corner of that chart as you can get – economically conservative, socially liberal. I do not give a damn what you do in your bedroom, but when it comes to being a steward of the public’s money (money that is, largely, taken from me against my will), you had better bloody well do it right.

    In any case, I appreciate you bringing a bit of sanity to DKos… and what is a “Zonie” anywise?


    This is now officially the most-commented post on this site. Congratulations, Robert, you got the attention you so desperately crave.

  33. I remember TTAC in the early days, and I think the thing that did it in was Roberts declaration that the Subaru B9 Tribeca looked like a Vagina. I will leave it to the reader to Google search both for reference images, and you’ll note the two look nothing alike. This lead to BMW banning ttac from BMW and MINI press vehicles. This also led to a steep decline in reviews and probably was the first step on the way to sale. It also highlighted something I’ve come to expect from Roberts’ posts on ttag; obvious, tedious, forced sensationalism.

    I would ad his video interview he did with Glenn Beck, and his treatment of it to this list. The short story version; he asked him a very specific question about right to carry and GB not knowing much about it gave him the most honest answer he could. Robert declared that as meaning GB was pro gun control. Last I checked Marcus Luttrel isn’t taking Robert Farago to the range to shoot. What ever ones opinion of GB that statement is just more of the sensationalism ttag trades in.

    Then their was an indecent where he posted a picture Oleg Volk had taken of a very thin young woman with a gun, and declared Oleg a perv for taking “jailbait” pictures. he then followed that up with a comment saying her preferred Summer Glau’s characters from firefly and Terminator. I think I pointed out in the comments that both of those characters were around 15 to 16 years of age in the stories and that would make Robert a perv, but I’m not sure it was ever read.

    I’ve been guilty of taking the sensationalistic bait in the past, but knowing that this guy is just stealing content and not caring one whit, I’m done.

  34. He’s linking to pictures on a blog and people are pissed about that? Jesus Christ rub some vagisil on it and STFU, IT’s A BLOG. GO outside now, there’s things to do out there.

  35. @ buddabelly: Ahah! That is why I was unfamiliar with it… thanks :).

    @ LiquiFlorian: Yeah, I have heard nothing but bad things about Robert’s running of TTAC, and more than a little solid speculation that he sold off TTAC while it was on it sway down, and the site’s current owners have had to really struggle to save the brand. I did not really keep up with all of it, but there were definitely some… strong… feelings about him and how he decided to steer the site.

    I had not heard about the Glenn Beck interview… guess I will have to go digging for that. And the funny thing about that picture is that I am pretty sure she was in her late 20s and already had two kids; if we are talking about the same picture, Oleg is still amused at Robert’s stupidity.

    @ Wiebelhaus: No, he is not “linking” to pictures – the word you are looking for is “stealing” – and neither is that all he is doing. However, I see that illiteracy is only the first of your many failings.

    You will keep a civil tongue in your head when you comment here, or you will not be commenting long.

  36. @Linoge Yeah I think we’re thinking of the same picture. Here is a link to the inveiew;

  37. In fairness, Glenn said some stupid-assed stuff in that interview, but it does stand as a shining example of the “gotcha”-style journalism Robert’s business model hinges on. Here Glenn has never heard of “Constitutional Carry”, and himself says that he probably should not comment on it, but Robert just keeps pushing and pressing for Glenn to say something stupid, and, lo and behold, he does.

    Fail, on both parties’ counts. Personally, I would have told Robert to pack sand.

  38. @ TL671:
    Well I just went back and looked at the Newslinks on KABA ( for the week preceding this post, 10/3 – 10/9. Of the 220 links 27 were to TTAG. In that same period I linked to No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money 7 times, Buckeye Firearms 8 times, Guns Save Life 9 times and 33 times.
    So as I said in my first comment: “lots of content = lots of links” (and I think that less than 13% of KABA’s links coming from TTAG hardly qualifies as a “mirror”).

  39. @ Bruce W. Krafft:

    Well, I haven’t been there in quite some time. What you have been doing lately is of no consequence to me. There for a couple of weeks, earlier this year 4 or more out of every five links was BSAG. For which you permanently lost at least 1 visitor.

  40. Wiebelhaus wrote:

    He’s linking to pictures on a blog and people are pissed about that? Jesus Christ rub some vagisil on it and STFU, IT’s A BLOG. GO outside now, there’s things to do out there.

    check out THIS asshole. Did you even read the article?

  41. TL671 wrote:

    @ Bruce W. Krafft:

    Well, I haven’t been there in quite some time. What you have been doing lately is of no consequence to me. There for a couple of weeks, earlier this year 4 or more out of every five links was BSAG. For which you permanently lost at least 1 visitor.

    That is completely untrue, but I can see why you might be confused, because starting I have no idea when up until a few days ago my browser was auto-filling TTAG as my website.
    If you can give me a general ballpark time frame I will be happy to double-check and if 80% of our links came from TTAG then I will most humbly apologize.

  42. @ Bruce W. Krafft:

    Whatever the excuse, just the appearance of being affiliated with a lousy gun grabber site masquerading as a gun rights site was/is enough to drive me away permanently. I have found other sources for my information that have enough integrity to avoid even the mention of imposter sites. I have said all I have to say on the subject, good bye.

  43. TL671 wrote:

    @ Bruce W. Krafft:

    Whatever the excuse, just the appearance of being affiliated with a lousy gun grabber site masquerading as a gun rights site was/is enough to drive me away permanently. I have found other sources for my information that have enough integrity to avoid even the mention of imposter sites. I have said all I have to say on the subject, good bye.

    Agreeing to disagree is often the best option.

    Peace, and keep up the fight.

  44. @ El Bombardero: You are assuming he can read…

    Bruce W. Krafft wrote:

    Agreeing to disagree is often the best option.

    Except in those cases where there is a clearly-defined “right” and an equally-clearly-defined “wrong”.

    (Hint: This is one of those cases.)

    As I said before, thank you for making Keep and Bear Arms’ editorial position so clear. I will be sure to blog about that in the near future.

  45. Wow I had no idea that it was that bad.

    Well you’ve certainly made a strong case against him, I suppose I will have to frequent your blog instead of his.

    Sad that people would feel like they have to resort to this type of nonsense….maybe he doesn’t really care though.

  46. Fair warning: I do not put out nearly as much material as he does.

    However, on the other hand, I can promise that none of my material is stolen against the original owners’ wishes, I do not lie about anyone, I do my best not to misrepresent anyone, and I do not randomly accost people demanding information I have no right to know.

    Which is more than I can say of Robert…

  47. First, thanks for opening my eyes concerning RF. In a weird, roundabout way I found out about his shenanigans when I stumbled on the WTBGU site which brought me here. I always thought something was fishy, especially when I read some bad references to RF when researching a new car purchase on TTAC. Funny how the net will always catch up with you in the long run.

    Secondly, I have a small, personal blog where I post what I’m into, what I’m researching, and of course my own images. I find it quite disturbing that someone will steal content or images. I know it’s all about the almighty dollar to RF, but doesn’t the man have any ethics or morals? Doesn’t he realize that he’ll be outed eventually and his world will crumble down around him?

    In closing, thanks for a great site. It’s going to take me a long time reading everything on here. I promise I won’t steal anything when reading all the volumes of info on here. I did, however, add a link so others can enjoy your site.



  48. Thanks for stopping by, and while I am happy this post was able to open your eyes, I still find it distressingly unfortunate that it was necessary to write it to begin with.

    As a very-part-time photographer and weblogger here, I, too, share your amazement that people would wholly lift other people’s work without even so much as a “by your leave”. I will grant that what Robert did is not “plagiarism”, in that he eventually cited all of the sources he stole from (though even that took some prompting from people), but it is wholly unconscionable from the “right/wrong” perspective.

    And, yeah, I really do believe he thought he could skate away without anyone noticing or caring – observe his “response” to this post, and how he apparently hopes this will all just get swept under the carpet and disappear.

    Thankfully, my traffic tracker indicates otherwise.

    Thanks for your kind words, and you are more than welcome to stick around :). Fortunately or unfortunately, my posting frequency has tapered off of late, so you should be able to catch up eventually ;).

  49. I always knew that TTAG was kind of full of themselves, but never knew they stole that much content.
    Well, seems like they are getting a dose of it after this article, I saw a bunch of aggregate links over at the Gun Blog Black List. Robert is pretty much getting owned right now.

  50. Yeah, I helped North put together that post – primarily by going through and anchor-linking all the high points (low points?) of the above post so he could link to them directly. Unfortunately, in the end, I doubt this will make a significant impact on Robert’s traffic, but people like you make it worthwhile for me :).

    Thanks for stopping by!

  51. Oh, no! Somebody used my picture that I put on the Internet and… put it on the Internet (Gasp!). Somebody call the police. Whaaaaaaa!!

    Wow, what a bunch of whiny crybabies. Get a life.

  52. LoL, U mad bro?

    Intellectual Property theft and copyright infringement are no big deal, huh. I guess all those record companies were mad at Napster for no reason then.

  53. liquidflorian wrote:

    LoL, U mad bro?

    Intellectual Property theft and copyright infringement are no big deal, huh. I guess all those record companies were mad at Napster for no reason then.

    Apples and oranges my brother; media companies were pissed at Napster because people who were downloading music and software weren’t paying for something which cost money otherwise. Pix on the internet are a whole other ball of wax unless the photog is getting paid per click and someone else’s use deprives him/her of that revenue.

    Vis-a-vis artists having their music downloaded; I once asked Billy McLaughlin how he felt about it and he said that it seemed to him that Napster et al. were getting his music out to people who otherwise never would have heard it and encouraging them to buy his albums.

  54. @ Guywithagun: Oh noes! A spineless, functionally-anonymous troll with no respect for the truth, intellectual property, or basic propriety just told me to get a life! Whatever shall I do?

    Oh. Right. Generally not care. Natch. Thanks for driving the comment count for this post up, dumbass.

    @ liquidflorian: I bet the anonymous coward would be quite upset if I took his camera away from him without his permission. Strange how his perspectives vary based on tangible vs. intangible property.

    @ Bruce W. Krafft: Whatever rationalizations and misappropriations of words helps you sleep at night.

  55. Just read through all this post.

    You know what it sounds like to me?

    Somebody is jealous that his firearms forum is not as popular as The Truth About Guns.

    Take your thumb out of your mouth, man up, and get back to discussing more important issues. That’s my advice, FWIW.

  56. I find it tremendously difficult to care a great deal about the opinion of an individual who apparently believes matters of integrity, honesty, and individual rights do not matter so long as something is ‘popular’.

    In the same vein, I find it tremendously difficult to care a great deal about the opinion of an individual who so flagrantly parades his ignorance around for the world to see; to wit, this is a weblog, commonly referred to as a “blog”, not a forum. They are different.

    Finally, your advice was worth exactly what I paid for it. My advice to you is to stop telling other people what they should and should not be doing with their property, lest they do something a little less cordial than kindly invite you to kiss my hairy, white ass.

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