What A Coincidence

The Gun Rights Policy Conference starts on Friday evening in Phoenix. It is certainly important that all the social media accounts of sponsor Second Amendment Foundation be up and running.

It is important but yet that hasn’t stopped some nameless gnome at Twitter from suspending their account.

Dan Zimmerman at TTAG broke the story earlier today. Dan quotes Alan Gottlieb as being shocked. Alan notes that their account has never been suspended and that the timing is ” interesting that it’s happened right before the Gun Rights Policy Conference this weekend.”

My talk on Sunday at GRPC is about how we are at the mercy of the big tech oligopolies. I didn’t expect Twitter to confirm it this soon in advance.

If you have a Twitter account, you might want to tweet @jack (Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO) asking him about it. I did.

Now this all could be just a big mistake and some anti-gun Twitter techie hacked the Second Amendment Foundation account. It could be. It could also be that @Jack who was one of the CEOs who signed the letter to Mitch McConnell demanding action on “gun violence” (sic) decided that pro-2A organizations didn’t need any extra publicity.

He’s Right, You Know

MADEbyJIMBOB is an anti-politically correct satirist. He was the subject of a story in The Federalist a few days ago about the memes he puts up on Instagram and one that recently was removed. JimBob was put on notice that his account could be shut down if he has “subsequent violations.

So what did he do that was so objectionable?

He told the truth about the mosque murders in New Zealand and the reaction of the government of Jacinda Adern.

From The Federalist:

When asked what he was hoping people would get from the post, MADEbyJIMBOB said: “The purpose of the meme was explore the perhaps unhealthy relationship between terror, trauma and reactionary legislation. The definition of terrorism is the use of violence or threat with political motivation, the inquiry is, is terrorism being exploited for political action and where is the line between responding to terrorism and rewarding violent behavior with legislation.”


This is a valid question, but one Instagram apparently thinks isn’t worth entertaining on their platform. Whether it be due solely to the mention of terrorism or some perhaps more nefarious politically based antagonism, it’s hard to say why Instagram found this so unacceptable. And there’s no appeal process, so MADEbyJIMBOB might never know.

And the meme:

Copyright MADEbyJIMOB

If you’ve read any of the killer’s off-the-wall manifesto – and I have – you know this was his intent.

As Morgan Freeman would say:

Ben Franklin Was Correct

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Benjamin Franklin, January 1775

This is a lesson that the Attorneys General from 20 states and the District of Columbia and US District Court Judge Robert Lasnik don’t seem to understand. Today Judge Lasnik extended his temporary restraining order preventing Defense Distributed, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Conn Williamson from distributing the 3-D printing and CNC files. The original order was due to expire tomorrow but now will go until the case is settled.

The fact that these files are and have been freely available from other sources on the Internet seems to have been ignored. The website CodeIsFreeSpeech is still up and running and has all of these files.

Judge Lasnik somewhat acknowledged that this is a First Amendment case.

Lasnik said the states have submitted sufficient evidence that they are likely to suffer “irreparable harm” if the blueprints are published. The judge also said Defense Distributed’s First Amendment concerns were “dwarfed” by the states’ safety considerations.

Dwarfed? Really? The so-called safety considerations put forth totally ignore the facts surrounding the 3-D printing of the Liberator pistol. What this case is really about is the gun control lobby and their political allies realizing that 3-D printing along with low-cost CNC machines is the death knell for gun control and they don’t like it.

Stephen Gutowski at the Free Beacon has more on his ruling:

Lasnik said in his ruling he “presumes that the private defendants have a First Amendment right to disseminate the CAD files.” However, he viewed the restrictions on the right to be acceptable.

“That right is currently abridged, but it has not been abrogated,” Lasnik wrote in his ruling.

Lasnik’s wording appears to run counter to the First Amendment’s explicit protection against “abridging the freedom of speech.”

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” the First Amendment reads.

Lasnik said being forbidden from publishing gun designs on the internet didn’t mean Wilson’s free speech rights had been abrogated because Wilson was free to share the designs by other means—such as by mail or other forms of publishing.

“Regulation under the AECA means that the files cannot be uploaded to the internet, but they can be emailed, mailed, securely transmitted, or otherwise published within the United States,” Lasnik wrote. “The Court finds that the irreparable burdens on the private defendants’ First Amendment rights are dwarfed by the irreparable harms the States are likely to suffer if the existing restrictions are withdrawn and that, overall, the public interest strongly supports maintaining the status quo through the pendency of this litigation.”

Cody Wilson actually says he is elated by the decision and plans to take it to the next level. He also referred to it as “clownish” and an “intentional insult”.

“The order is a manifest injustice and literally admits to being an abridgment of the freedom of speech,”

I think it is time to see if the 9th Circuit believes more in freedom of speech or in being gun prohibitionists.

Maybe I Missed Something – Aren’t Newspapers Supposed To Support The First Amendment?

When I grew up in the 60s and 70s in Greensboro, North Carolina, our local newspaper, the Greensboro Daily News, supported free speech. It had editorialized against the Speaker Ban Law which banned anyone with Communist Party connections from speaking on a state university campus. It featured great editorial writers like Jonathan Yardley and Edwin Yoder who went on to win the Pulitzer Prize later in their careers. The editor was Bill Snider who would get crosses burned in his yard for his support of civil rights.

So you can imagine my feeling when I read one of their most recent editorials arguing against free speech in the name of safety. It began:

Imagine a gun you could build in the privacy of your home in much the same way that you assembled model cars and planes as a youth.

A few clicks of a mouse and — voila! — you’re in business.

We have the know-how. We have the technology. And we should have the common sense not to use it.

You know where this is going. The unsigned editorial in the News & Record (combination of the old Daily News and Greesboro Record) was applauding the move by Attorney General Josh Stein (D-NC) to join the lawsuit in Washington State seeking to prevent Defense Distributed from publishing its files of code for 3-D printing and CNC machining.

No matter that these have been on the Internet since at least 2013 and thousands of us have copies of those files on our computers. No matter that it is 100% legal to make your own firearm so long as you are not a prohibited person and it is not a fully automatic firearm. Of course, they didn’t tell you that part in the editorial. Nor did they say that it would cheaper and easier to go to Lowe’s for parts and Harbor Freight for tools to make your own more substantial firearm.

As I commented on the story on their website:

When a news organization ostensibly dedicated to a free press AND to free speech editorializes against speech it doesn’t like – and make no mistake computer code is speech – it sets a horrendous precendent. What speech will you next want to subject to prior restraint? Will it be conservative speech by an African-American like Mark Robinson? Or will it be something said by a pro-life teen?

Where does it stop? You don’t have to like what is said and you can argue against the ideas contained in that speech. However, in our somewhat free society it should and must be allowed.

It is a bad precedent for any news organization to argue for censorship of free speech. The Greensboro Daily News and Record editorial staff ought rightly to be ashamed of themselves.

Really, YouTube? Brownells Offends Your Sensitivities? (Updated – Restored)

Brownells is one of the most mainstream of companies in the firearms industry. Thus it is very surprising that their YouTube channel was terminated without warning or notice at around 2am this Saturday morning.

WTF?!

Here is what they posted on Facebook:

Brownells’ YouTube channel has been terminated without warning or notice.

If you’re opposed to the continued attack on our community’s First and Second Amendment rights, please contact
GOOGLE: 650-253-0000 OPTION 5 FOR YOUTUBE M – F

MESSAGE YOUTUBE AND GOOGLE:
https://twitter.com/YouTube
https://twitter.com/rkyncl?lang=en
https://www.facebook.com/youtube/

USE “SEND FEEDBACK” AT BOTTOM OF YOUR PAGE to message YT

Thank you! And as always, we appreciate your support.

Among the groups that Brownells has provided support include both Operation Blazing Sword and Black Guns Matter. Is YouTube that scared of gays and African-Americans exercising their god-given right to self-defense and their Second Amendment rights?

More on this from the Gun Collective:

We are in a culture war and the other side wants us dead. I mean that both figuratively and literally. Terminating Brownells YouTube channnel is another shot across the bow in this culture war. Take a few minutes and letting YouTube know your opinion of this.

UPDATE:


The Brownells YouTube channel has been restored. There is still no explanation why it was taken down.

Brownells issued this message on their Facebook page:

Brownells’ YouTube account has been restored!


We CANNOT thank you ALL enough for your shares, reposts, retweets and positive comments!


We are beyond proud to have the finest group of customers and supporters anywhere.


Thank you again! 🇺🇸👍

Ian Of Forgotten Weapons Responds To The New YouTube Policy

Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons posted a video on Full30 this afternoon. In it, he discusses the implications of the new YouTube policy regarding firearms and firearms-related videos. As he notes, YouTube is somewhat of a black hole and no clarification is forthcoming.

He addresses the publicity that he’s gotten for his InRange TV videos going up on PornHub. Ian has no intention of putting Forgotten Weapons videos up on PornHub but hinted he has other plans in the works. The PornHub gambit was to bring attention to YouTube’s change in policy and hopefully force them to reconsider it.

Quote Of The Day

The quote of the day comes from Miguel Gonzalez of Gun Free Zone blog fame. It was in response to a post on Facebook noting that Kroger grocery stores were removing gun magazines that have “assault weapons” (sic) in the stories.

Miguel’s comment from Facebook is brutal but spot on:

Standard version:
Good German businessmen who pride themselves in the righteousness of the Reich, should not have these unclean Zionist publications for sale in their places of business. Removal is a must alongside anything else related to it.


Palatable version:
Good American businessmen who pride themselves in the righteousness of “Do It For The Children”, should not have these unclean gun publications for sale in their places of business. Removal is a must alongside anything else related to it.

The Gun Collective Responds To YouTube

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The Gun Collective is a YouTube channel devoted to all things firearms including firearms law. Adam Kraut, whom I have endorsed for the NRA Board of Directors, is part of The Gun Collective. I ran into these guys at Industry Day at the Range while at the SHOT Show. They were creating video content for their YouTube channel.

As you might expect, they will be massively impacted by the new YouTube policy singling out firearms for special rules. In response, they made this video which has been viewed over 255,000 times on Facebook and over 58,000 times on YouTube. Their YouTube channel has over 125,000 subscribers.

One thing I’ve started doing is reporting pro-gun control videos as offensive. For example, Everytown had a video pushing North Carolina’s pistol purchase permit system. I reported it as supporting Jim Crow laws conceived by white surpremacist Democrats which is totally correct. You might find other videos from Brady, Giffords, the Demanding Mommies, or Everytown which you find incorrect or offensive. Report them. It may seem trite but it is time we went on the offensive and started calling them on their lies. Their goal is nothing less than the destruction of the gun culture and I’m not going to stand by and do nothing.

It’s Not Just YouTube As Reddit Goes Full Gun Control

One of the more popular sub-reddits on Reddit.com was r/gundeals.  It was one of the first places I went to see if a dealer was having a sale.As of today, it is gone thanks to a new Reddit policy.

From Bloomberg Technology on Reddit’s response to criticism:

Subreddits banned from the site under the new policy include r/GunDeals, r/GunsForSale and r/AKMarketplace.


The policy change invoked a lively discussion on the platform. A number of Reddit users specifically expressed frustration about the loss of r/GunDeals, arguing that the group does not actually conduct sales but links to deals offered elsewhere. The company responded: “Because this policy forbids facilitating the transactions, it impacts communities that are dedicated to connecting buyers and sellers. We want to emphasize, though that communities dedicated solely to discussion about guns and gun ownership are not impacted by this change.”

I never once saw an individual selling a firearm or accessory on /r/gundeals. Rather it was always a post with a link to a company’s website. It also have a feature where you could say you were looking for a deal on X and people would respond if they knew of such a deal.

Other gun related subreddits banned include /r/brassswap, /r/airsoftmarket, and /r/airsoftmarketcanada.

Here is the full statement from Reddit’s administrators:

Hello All—


We want to let you know that we have made a new addition to our content policy forbidding transactions for certain goods and services. As of today, users may not use Reddit to solicit or facilitate any transaction or gift involving certain goods and services, including:

  • Firearms, ammunition, or explosives;
  • Drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, or any controlled substances (except advertisements placed in accordance with our advertising policy);
  • Paid services involving physical sexual contact;
  • Stolen goods;
  • Personal information;
  • Falsified official documents or currency

When considering a gift or transaction of goods or services not prohibited by this policy, keep in mind that Reddit is not intended to be used as a marketplace and takes no responsibility for any transactions individual users might decide to undertake in spite of this. Always remember: you are dealing with strangers on the internet.


EDIT: Thanks for the questions everyone. We’re signing off for now but may drop back in later. We know this represents a change and we’re going to do our best to help folks understand what this means. You can always feel free to send any specific questions to the admins here.

What this is saying is that guns should be treated just the same as hookers, blow, and fake IDs. Gee thanks, Reddit. Ooops, I see that hookers still have their own subreddit. There is also a subreddit for selling used panties. Go figure.

However, there is another option. The website Voat, kind of an alternative Reddit, now has a gundeals subforum. I believe those that started the subforum were the administrators of the /r/gundeals subreddit. The number of users is going up by the minute.

NSSF Comment On New YouTube Policy

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has weighed in on YouTube’s new policy regarding firearms-related videos. NSSF also notes that they themselves have over 500 videos uploaded to YouTube.

The NSSF statement:

YOUTUBE’S NEW POLICY PROVIDES CAUSE FOR CONCERN

YouTube’s announcement this week of a new firearms content policy is troubling. We suspect it will be interpreted to block much more content than the stated goal of firearms and certain accessory sales. Especially worrisome is the potential for blocking educational content that serves an instructional and skill-building purpose. YouTube’s policy announcement has also served to invite political activists to flood their review staff with complaints about any video to which they may proffer manufactured outrage.

Much like Facebook, YouTube now acts as a virtual public square. The exercise of what amounts to censorship, then, can legitimately be viewed as the stifling of commercial free speech, which has constitutional protection. Such actions also impinge on the Second Amendment.

Facebook Precedent

In what we see as a parallel situation, Facebook has repeatedly shut down the pages of legitimate and reputable firearms retailers that were following Facebook’s own rules. The interpretation depended on the reviewers, the vast majority of whom have little familiarity with our business practices, let alone our products, and many of whom do not even do their work from American soil.

Both First and Second Amendment rights are essential to the liberty we enjoy as American citizens. In a very real sense, the de facto curtailment of First Amendment right of its firearm related business users, YouTube is edging toward simultaneously infringing upon the Second Amendment rights of the customers of these affected businesses.

Commerce in Firearms is Essential

As Circuit Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote in his 36-page opinion, “Our forefathers recognized that the prohibition of commerce in firearms worked to undermine the right to keep and bear arms.”

This argument can be logically extended to social media platforms. It is time that social media platform management realizes its broader collective responsibility since it commands so much of today’s virtual public square. Suppressing the expression of First Amendment protected political speech and of commercial speech is wrong, even if they think they are acting in the public interest. The resulting impingement of lawful commerce in firearms that brings with it the infringement of Second Amendment rights is equally wrong and it should stop.