Sock Puppetry from the Other Side?

Thirdpower has some pretty damning evidence that Josh Horwitz, President of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, is, in fact, the same nasty individual that goes by the alias “GritsJr” over on the HuffPo. What’s interesting is we’re like the second stringers of the gun rights movement, and this is their leadership. Do you think Chris Cox and Wayne LaPierre are spending their time engaging in Internet sock puppetry? I’m pretty sure they are too busy helping to destroy Josh’s livelihood to worry much about what we second stringers are saying. Maybe there’s a lesson in that.

13 thoughts on “Sock Puppetry from the Other Side?”

  1. The only thing worse than doing that sock-puppetry business is spending time investigating them in order to expose their deceit.

    I’m not just saying that to rouse the few of your commenters who love it when I give them cause to. I’m saying it because I really don’t understand the mentality of people who check and compare IP addresses, search the internet for real names in order to out people, etc., etc.

    I don’t get it and I don’t do it myself. Maybe the guys who go in for this kind of thing have more time on their hands than I do or else they’re more passionate about fighting their opponents by any and all means at their disposal.

    Thirdpower discovered this dirty secret about Josh Horwitz, just like that famous case with John Lott and his female alias. I say, “so what – who cares?”. What a waste of time for Thirdpower and what a waste of time for you Sebastian. Talk about getting off the topic, this whole topic is off the topic. This is immediate personal attack, nothing else.

  2. The difference is, Mike, that these guys are movement leaders, and we’re second stringers, like I said. I don’t think it took too much time to notice Horwitz seems to have screwed up who he posted as, and then appears to have tried to cover up.

    It’s not like they tracked him down to post his address, meddle with his family’s affairs, his job (if his job was unrelated to the issue) or do other highly personal, vile things. If that was the case, I would agree with you that it was pure loserdom. But they saw an opportunity to embarrass one of our adversaries within the confines of the issue, so they did the necessary work and did so.

    I can certainly understand why folks would use an alias. Obviously, I have no issues with that, and generally speaking would not support outing someone’s alias. But there’s a difference between an alias and sock puppetry.

    What’s in bound and what’s out of bound is certainly a good discussion to have, and I think it’s worth having, even with you, MikeB, but I think this is in bounds. If he had been posting on, say, S&M boards about something related to his private life as GritsJr, I would agree that’s out of bounds. Anything within the issue is within bounds, however. That’s how you separate politics from personal.

  3. I should note I am not saying Josh Horwitz posts on S&M boards… I’m using that as an example. What he does in his private life, away from his role in the gun issue, I could care less about.

  4. mike,

    There’s a fundamental concept in play here. Each individual has the right to have a voice in political discussions, to make their case and to be heard. What they don’t have in an ethical or intellectual integrity sense is a right to have two or more voices.

    “One man one vote” doesn’t exactly apply but it is built on the same philosophical concept.

    Now it’d be fine if he openly spoke as Horwitz the individual (say on the blog) and Horwitz the spokesman/member of his organization. That makes it clear that he is still one person speaking with a single voice but in two different roles.

    However, by pretending to be “Gritsjr” he is actively, deliberately, creating the perception there are two voices in support of his position, not just one. He’s trying to get an extra “vote” in the legislature of public opinion.

    Dirty pool and not worthy of a person of integrity.

  5. Mikeb: Thirdpower discovered this dirty secret about Josh Horwitz, just like that famous case with John Lott and his female alias. I say, “so what – who cares?”.

    I have not seen MikeB say “so what – who cares?” about the John Lott case whem it comes up on his blog, but now I expect Mikeb do so in the future.

    He should be prepared to do it often — Lott’s opponents rarely miss an opportunity to mention it.

  6. And it just wasn’t on Huffpo. Josh has apparently used the GritsJr puppet to defend whole bunches of his interviews and opinion articles.

  7. Shabby behavior all the way around. Good philosophical explanation from Matthew, though. “One man, one voice,” who actually said that?

  8. Using the VPC google research technique, it appears I am the first to get “one man, one voice” in place as philosophical concept. I think I’ll use a Kantean basis for it.

    It’s definitely going in my resume. ;)

    “One man, one vote” though has a history.,_one_vote

    It’s wiki, but it appears to link to good sources.


  9. I posted the following elsewhere, but thought it might be of interest here:

    My own opinion on this …

    It seems clear to me that this “individualist insurrection” angle that Horowitz and CSGV are playing is largely due to their realization that they are getting nowhere in the courts or in the federal or state legislatures. They have LONG been working the legislatures and the courts for gun control (from the angle of demonizing guns themselves). However … look what is happening in the courts and the legislatures. Consider the far-reaching effects of the prevalence and success of concealed carry laws in states nationwide. Bottom line … the carry aspect has revolutionized the public’s views on guns. No longer are guns “only for hunting.” Now, they are seen as practical again, in our modern times … practical for anyone who wants to defend themselves and their families. Concealed carry has made guns practical AND mainstream. That translates to liberalization of gun laws in the fed and state legislatures. Horowitz’ group cannot compete with that, using only the courts and legislatures approach. So … here you see a totally different angle – the demonization of gun owners (not so much guns) and the organizations that speak for them. Really, they perceive that this angle is all they have left. When the angle of “banning guns because guns are bad” does not work for them, what else is there left to try but “banning guns because the people who own them are bad?”

    CSGV agenda items (per their website and Wiki; and paraphrased):

    (1) Guns, Democracy and Freedom: CSGV is opposed to the “insurrectionist philosophy” which the group attributes to the National Rifle Association (NRA). The coalition contends the second amendment right as interpreted by NRA (and the Heller majority) is a plot to oppose to any “stronger, activist government” and degrade the institutions that protect other freedoms.

    (2) Microstamping: CSGV supports state and federal implementation of firearm microstamping.

    (3) Gun Show Loophole: CSGV believes that the ability of private individuals to engage in firearms sales at gunshows without requirement for background checks constitutes a ‘loophole’ in the law, and is working to close it.
    [note that in states that have prohibited private sales at gun shows, the CSGV supports legislation to prohibit private sales anywhere]

    (4) Federal Legislation: CSGV supports repealing the Tiahrt Amendment, renewing the Assault Weapons Ban, closing the “gun show loophole”, and prohibiting individuals who are on a terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms.

    (5) Concealed Carry: Generally, concealed carry laws permit dangerous individuals to obtain permits to carry concealed handguns. CSGV actively opposes liberalization of concealed carry laws. [after all, they started out as the COALITION TO BAN HANDGUNS … clearly, if they want them banned, they don’t want folks to carry them in public]

    (6) International Arms Trade: CSGV supports the efforts of UNESCO, the United Nations, Interpol, and the World Health Organization to reduce global transactions of small arms.

  10. “You willing to say the same thing about John Lott, MikeB?”

    betting not. I suspect that would abut the same ideological brick wall that keeps all the anti-rights advocates from going from complaining that our laws are “Too Weak” and “Ineffective”, but refusing to actually name a “Weak” or “ineffective” law that we could repeal for the sake of compromise.

    He’s just pulling a ratchet technique, sadly ‘ol Sparky is about as bright as a ratchet.

Comments are closed.