I am back from a prolonged trip, and have gotten caught up with a lot, except for getting the blog going again. I hope you all had a nice Christmas, or whatever you might celebrate. We’re getting close to my 12 year blogoversary, which is Sunday. I’ll be busy that day, so will not be blogging again about it. I’ve slowed down a good bit from when we started this venture, but in 2019 I’m going to try to post more in the coming year. I’ll never be able to get back to what I used to do, but I don’t wish to hang it up quite yet.
To start off the year, I recommend reading Kevin Creighton’s post at Ricochet: “Gun Owners are Being Othered, And We’re Letting it Happen.”
I’ll offer some observations for 2019, because I think this is going to be a challenging year for us. In my mind gun people are suffering from a number of maladies:
- Everyone underestimated how much Bloomberg’s money would make a difference for the gun control movement. It’s made a huge difference. Our biggest asset historically has been our ability to self-organize. There have always been a sizable number of people who would support gun control, but the movement won’t organically provide the money and organizing talent to make them a force. But with Bloomberg’s money, and the money from other elites he’s bringing along, that’s no longer an issue for them. With the money a given, it will buy them a movement.
- We surrendered the “horizontal interpretive communities” that got us where we are to top-down social media which are centrally controlled. I can remember seasoned activists from the 80s and 90s tell me they got their message out using informal fax networks to organize back when that was a new technology. We’ve always been on the bleeding edge of self-organization. But our community doesn’t have an answer yet for the problems being caused by Google and Facebook, who would rather see us disappear and largely have the power to accomplish that if they really wanted.
- Too many people insisted on bringing unrelated culture war issues along with gun rights, which has made it difficult to expand our base, and has completely removed us as a force in one of the two major parties. I’m not saying that means we support anti-gun Dems: the damage has already been done. Our only hope is keeping the Dems confined to a minority of states to keep them from power until they come to their senses. There is some hope we can accomplish this with the Senate.
Not all of this is our fault, or a result of people sitting on their laurels. We gun owners didn’t surrender the distributed Internet of the 90s and 00s to a handful of Silicon Valley elites. Society as a whole decided centralized control of the Internet was desirable, and we’re being dragged along. I suspect before too long a technology will come along to disrupt Google and the social media companies. When that happens, we have to be ready to dominate it and start self-organizing. It’s what we do best.