The Administration’s Plan

I think this is probably correct, in response to Biden suggesting video games are on the table:

Of course, I’m wondering if getting the entertainment industry involved isn’t really about drumming up some friendly PR for whatever gun-control measures the White House does come up with more than anything else — rationale probably pretty similar to their reasoning for making these particular phone calls.

Yes. And Wayne LaPierre opened the door to this idea with the disastrous notion that gamers were a faction we needn’t worry about offending when School Shield was introduced. This is typical divide and conquer tactics that are so representative of the Chicago Way. Many people enjoy video games, and it’s quite possible I was not the only person who realized what a disastrous remark that was. The White House may have noticed too.

43 thoughts on “The Administration’s Plan”

  1. While I agree with the NRA on most things, I cringed at Wayne Lapierre’s comment about video games. I play video games, most of them first-person shooters, but that doesn’t make me want to go shoot up a school. I feel that he was just trying to push the blame onto anything but guns, and I agree, guns don’t deserve any of the blame, but neither do video games.

    1. It makes him seem out of touch too, video games are mainstream now, not some new fad all the kids are doing. Blaming media is barely any different than blaming guns. He should have focused on mental health IMO.

    2. Same here, I play first person shooters like COD and MOH alot. To me it alleviates stress and [possibly learn something about history and tactics while doing it.

  2. Agreed it was a stupid thing for him to say. He shouldn’t throw freedom of expression under the bus, it won’t help in the long run.

  3. Ummm, really, how disastrous can it be? Are gamers going to say “The NRA dissed us, so gun control is just fine?” Or are they going to adopt a “distrust and verify” sort of posture like I have towards the NRA?

    Sure, it will cost them memberships and the political power that comes from that increment, although frankly, it’s patently obvious a whole lot of gun owners look for any excuse they can find to not join.

    So, do you think this battle will be won or lost by small margins, on the order of gamers who won’t be joining the NRA and it’s political activities? And if it’s small margins today, what future does the RKBA in the US?

    1. It really comes down to the fact that it’s a bad idea to make enemies where you don’t have to. A lot of gamers are just as fanatical about their communities as we are, and they’ll lash out as perceived enemies.

      1. That’s an almost entirely non-responsive answer. Does “lash out” equal “support gun control”?

        We aren’t arguing about it being a bad move; I’m trying to gauge how much damage it did to what. I’m not seeing any support for a magnitude where “disastrous” would apply.

        1. Would it be just as bad to “not oppose gun control?” If I were a gamer, I’d be tempted to not participate if I were getting blame.

          1. That would be bad, maybe not “just as bad”, although I see no reason gamers intrigued by the weapons they use in games to go any further. And I still wouldn’t expect them to not consider it at all in voting.

            But this mess suggests a solution: the NRA would, for some good reasons, get a report card with the annotation “Doesn’t play well with others”, and that’s certainly showing here. So set up a pro-gun gamers’ organization.

            I would suggest two objectives: transitioning gamers safely and competently from virtual to real guns, and the necessary political advocacy so that they can continue to do this. The latter would mostly require the right legal structure and then little more than communications following the lead of the big boys, i.e. contact these politicians now, voter scoring “cards”, etc., and the use of CapWiz’s successor or the like to provide easy to get to contact information.

            I offer to help, but I’m not the right person to lead this, having made a reluctant decision in the late middle ’80s to stop gaming to defer the onset of RSI (which I did indeed get in the next decade but now manage to keep under control, but gaming is right out prior to full thought control interfaces).

        2. Here’s one anecdote. I’m a 30 year old life member of the NRA. I haven’t played video games more than a few hours a month since college. I almost tore up my life membership over it.

          1. Could you give us a little insight into this? No one’s denying it was a bad move, but I’m finding it difficult to understand the consequences of it, there’s a lot of hand waving but few specifics.

            Note, I’m likely to be sympathetic, I “tore up” my own membership many years ago, and only returned to the fold after the presser when the NRA unequivocally pledged total resistance. I wonder why you’d be so close to doing so when the threat is so high, the greatest since the 1989 Stockton school yard massacre.

            1. Because it pissed me off that much. Flip it around. Say you were also a member of a video game group. Said video game group gives a speech saying, it’s not video games, it’s all the fault of those scary guns and the evil NRA. Would you stay a member?

              As Kim Du Toit said: “I don’t just want gun rights… I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance….I want the whole bloody thing.”
              Gun rights are hugely important to me, but as a part of liberty in general. Looking at the broader picture, NRA throwing the 1A rights of video gamers under the bus wasn’t substantially different than throwing black rifle owners under the bus to protect the gun rights of Fudds.

              The NRA usually does a good job of being a single issue group and staying out of other issues. In this case they didn’t, and espoused a position very much at odds with my own.

              The height of the current threat is what convinced me to not only stay a member, but upgrade my life membership. I’ll stand with NRA in the current fight, but I’m going to be paying a lot more attention to the next board election.

              1. Fair enough.

                I guess I lack your shock and horror since the reason I quit is that they have been so bad on core RKBA protection (e.g. Clinton’s AW ban in 1994 was the first major piece of Federal gun control that didn’t pass with their blessing, and they’ve sinned since then). If they’re willing to throw their own single issue constituency under the bus, throwing anyone else is not worth even a raised eyebrow….

                I fear you’ll have no joy with the board: the number of board members is 10 times or more too high for them to provide effective oversight of the executive (this is Corporate Governance 101), and the latter controls the nominating and election communications process so thoroughly (and is willing to break the bylaws in doing this, for them losing lawsuits would appear to just be a cost of doing business), that absent the executive doing something totally insane like what precipitated the 1977 Cincinnati would there be enough leverage to possibly change things.

            2. You know how gunnies on the Internet like to cause trouble for turncoats and enemies? Gamers have similar communities, and they enjoy themselves a good knifing as well. It’s just not an fight that needed picking, and I think long term it hurts NRA’s brand with young people. Short term you’re going to deal with anger from a group you don’t need angry at you when the media is busy talking about what dicks you are.

    2. Because there may be gamers that lean our way but once they hear they are being attacked they’ll go other. Don’t underestimate the power of geek hatred.

      1. The admin has to threaten gamers et al into playing ball while not being overtly threatening.

        Sort of “I’m the only one standing between you and the pitchforks”… “Now do what I say or I’ll jab you in the gut.”

      2. they’ll go other

        Could you tell me what that means? Specifics would be appreciated.

        1. They won’t support us or worse they’ll support our opponents. You don’t seem to grasp the ability of techies to hold grudges. Maybe they are interested in guns, and thought about getting one eventually. But if the NRA is attacking their fun, they may support “reasonable restrictions” like mag band and AW bans.

          1. As a techie who’s still holding a grudge against Ruger (Clinton AW ban) and absolutely refuses to buy anything from them (BTW, is the 10/22 ecosystem rich enough you can buy or make one with no Ruger parts of note?), yes, you’re certainly right about the grudge.

            But I’d like something more solid for the specificity of the grudge, e.g. against the NRA or more broadly, and I wonder how many many of the latter would ever have been friendly to our cause, for a lot and I think most techies are liberals/progressives, or at least have to keep silent if they aren’t.

            1. Yes, Magnum Research makes a clone.

              My grudge against Ruger died with Bill.

    3. Gamers like the stuff they see in the games. ARs and AKs are popular first and second firearms for the gamer crowd. Especially when they find out they can own them and customize them as much as they see in the game. A lot of gamers are 20-somethings who often known nothing about firearms and finding out the NRA said their hobby is to blame for killing children, well, then maybe we shouldn’t support the NRA and those old folks who don’t care about us.

      Only later do they find out what they’ve lost when they encounter old guy/gal (40ish) with their AR-15 and find out they are now banned and they can’t own one. Nothing like a little early betrayal to fester and run deep.

      1. A lot of gamers are 20-somethings who often known nothing about firearms and finding out the NRA said their hobby is to blame for killing children, well, then maybe we shouldn’t support the NRA and those old folks who don’t care about us.

        Which strangely enough is exactly what I said (or think I said).

        What does this “shouldn’t support” translate into? Again, I’d like specifics, beyond the obvious of their not joining the NRA and becoming part of its political machine … which, if they don’t actually own any guns per your scenario I would doubt would happen anyway.

  4. And gamers have their own horizontal interpretive communities, the same as we do. I participate in some of them, or have, when I had more time.

    Going into the fight of our lives, we did not need to pick a fight with them. To anyone under 40 this is a no-brainer. Did Wayne talk to anyone under 40?

  5. No, I think the Administration’s plan is to get major firearms manufacturers to stop selling to non-LEO consumers. Look for a major announcement about COLT at the SHOT show. My guess is that either Glock is buying COLT (or, Glock is buying Magpul), or COLT is going to announce that they are going to withdraw from the sale of firearms to consumers other than military and LEO.

    1. Hmmm, I can only see this from COLT if the Administration puts its thumbs on the scale and gives them the M4 contract they’re in the process of losing to Remington Defense. Otherwise, what possible incentive could they be given to stop selling to what I assume is their 2nd largest market, soon to be largest (are they even still making M4s for the military)?

      And if this happens, will we really care that much? To a great extent isn’t AR-15 production capacity fairly fungible? Sure, this would mean the Freedom Group wouldn’t buy the extra capacity they need to fulfill the contract … although one wonders if they will have to make fewer for us for a while if they get the contract, simply because they’re capacity constrained.

  6. Not sure what is in store for us, and how this will go. Looks like Glock is set to announce that they are making an AR-style rifle, and so maybe they are buying Magpul. But, something, either something else, or something related, is going to happen with COLT. Not sure how to put the pieces together.

  7. Really, it isn’t the entertainment industry. Same entertainment in other places doesn’t result in shot-up public places. We’re just a violent society. Got to take our problem du jour out on someone, whether via lawyers, guns, fisticuffs or whatever.

    1. We’re just a violent society.

      Except we’re not. World-wide, the US is solidly in the middle.

  8. A company can’t survive on selling weapons exclusively to the military/police alone as a viable business model. That would be corporate suicide. Seems like Colt may be ditching some poorly selling product lines and is becoming innovative. Why else did this writer mention a .44 revolver?

    Regarding video games, I agree when I say I don’t know how deflecting the blame will help add numbers our cause. However, I don’t know that it will damage it. Part of me thinks it does seem crazy that the gun owning folks get the blame while violence-promoting causes walk away scott free. If violence in the media helps sell guns, that’s definitely not the primary image we want to portray. “Oh yes, Johnny liked playing game so much he went out and bought an AK-47 to match!”

    1. Also, Sebastian, do you have any info on what Cuomo has up his sleeve in NY? As a bordering state this should be of definite interest to us.

      1. From what I’ve seen so far, removing grandfathering on magazines… and moving to a one evil feature test, with an expanded list of evil features. It’s roughly the same shit we saw in Illinois.

  9. The NRA ought to consider how many potential members they turn off every time they bring up some culture wars crap like this which is totally unrelated to the RKBA.

    1. On the other hand, perhaps the intent was to put an equally ridiculous assertion out in order to prod people to think about how ridiculous the gun control proposals are.

      Clumsily executed, if so, but it should be considered a possibility.

  10. Twelve years ago the left was screeching that 3,000 murdered and 6,000 injured by a dozen committed men in a well-funded, long-planned attack was a small price to pay for freedom. Today they’re screeching that 50 dead and 100 or so injured by a couple of mad men lashing out over their personal demons, in events separated by thousands of miles and 6 months of time, is sufficient cause to enact laws that turn millions of their fellow citizens into criminals.

  11. Anyone contact the Video Game Voters Network about this? I’m going to. They COULD be a force to be reckoned with, but seem to be relatively inactive lately, especially since the NRA just ostensibly came out against them.

    It seems to me, what really needs to be pounded into the brains of all the “civil rights” groups, is that we’re all in this together. The Bill of Rights is all or nothing; you don’t get to pick and choose which you like. If you don’t like guns, don’t buy any. If you don’t like video games, don’t buy/play any. If you don’t like free speech, keep your mouth shut (inversely, if you like self-incrimination, DON’T keep your mouth shut). The list goes on, but bottom line: even if you choose not to exercise your rights, don’t stop others from exercising theirs.

    I’ll now step down off my soap-box.

    1. A good principle, but you’re welcome to point out the civil rights groups, outside of the explicitly conservative ones or some state chapters of the ACLU, that even make a pretense of supporting the RKBA. Was it Neal Knox who reported that at one point the ACLU’s national D.C. office had this little shrine enumerating the Bill of Rights, all 9 of them?

      They later evidently got embarrassed enough to take the whole thing down, but it is telling that the ACLU, the nation’s premier “civil rights” organization, e.g. one that makes it largely impossible to commit the severely mentally ill, is viciously anti-2nd Amendment.

      1. The NAACP, too, is historically anti-gun, despite the racist roots of gun control laws (being written specifically to disarm free-born blacks and newly-freed slaves). It’s not groups like that that I’d seriously try to reach, though a token attempt is certainly worth the minimal effort.

        I was turned onto the VGVN, perhaps not ironically, by my state-level gun-rights organization. Their leadership recognizes the interconnected nature of individual rights, and keeps its fingers on the pulses of several non-gun groups. We constantly say that gun owners, if everyone got involved, COULD be an unstoppable political force. Gamers COULD be the same, an as-yet untapped resource. Many gamers are as passionate about their hobby/art-form as gun owners.

        Looking at the numbers: nearly every home in America has at least one game console, computer, or smartphone (i.e.: a device that can run games), although VGVN has no listed percentage of households who play video games (probably no way to tell accurately). 38% of homes report having guns (discounting homes that own but don’t report). I read this to mean there’s significant cross-over between gaming and gun-owning populations, but more to the point, that we might be able to convince gamers to step up and actively support ALL their rights, whether or not they currently own guns. Why must the burden to defend the Bill of Rights (all 10 of them) fall solely and squarely on gun owners’ shoulders, if everyone will end up losing?

        All I’m saying is: Why not at least try to get some outreach and cooperation between the groups? (The NRA, touting itself as a “single-issue” organization, probably won’t want to “play”, but what about GOA, JPFO, etc.?) It might fail, but if that’s the case, nothing happens. Nothing WILL happen if we don’t try.

  12. Well! We can’t have videogames. Kids might actually start enjoying real guns and supporting their rights! And free expression Can we copyright that and litigate them?

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