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Happy 2019

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.

13 Responses to “Happy 2019”

  1. Ian Argent says:

    “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”

    This happened for the same reason that “intersectionalism” happened on the other side. Binding alliances entangle.

    • Joe R. says:

      Let me restate that for you.

      Too many liberal, progressive, socialist, communist, globalist, global-warmingist, POS (D), mfrs, have attempted to sell their wicked crap by glomming on to the things that you will fight to the death for.

      Screw them, you don’t need them. That’s like saying we need everyone in the inflatable life-raft so that we have more people to row; even those 3 crazy f’rs who refuse to put down their ice picks and take off their golf cleats.

  2. Bitter says:

    …start self-organizing. It’s what we do best.

    This. We don’t even have to wait on a Google disrupter. There are so many ways that we can organize within our community, but no one takes advantage of it. To be honest, we’re quickly losing that knowledge with the loss of our older generations. It’s not because our oldest generations know how to harness technology because that’s not where the real concepts of organizing start. It’s in identifying and connecting with like-minded people and knowing enough to sell your message to them.

    Think about the problems with participation as a whole in civil society. We have multiple adult generations who have very little experience with it. Gen Xers largely aren’t joiners, and the generations below them have had most of their lives and activities dictated for them.

    The challenge in this will be getting people who can harness the technology to support the self-organizing, but we have to make sure we don’t lose the basics of self-organizing.

    • HappyWarrior6 says:

      “Think about the problems with participation as a whole in civil society. We have multiple adult generations who have very little experience with it. Gen Xers largely aren’t joiners, and the generations below them have had most of their lives and activities dictated for them.”

      Bingo! I have seen this, and I am many times guilty of it myself. Gen Xers and millennials generally do not bring to the table a level of civic engagement that our parents and grandparents did on most any issue they care about. The “social clubs” that our grandparents dragged my parents to are gone. I don’t even know what a social club is today, quite honestly. To me the civic engagement and shared values problems are bigger problems. They affect all facets of culture and it’s really what we’re fighting about/for today. I am not sure how that gets resolved, but I don’t believe it will be resolved delicately.

      I still rate your post three “wet farts” for the Debbie Downer factor. Happy New Year!

  3. Richard says:

    Googlebook is a huge problem. They are so powerful and rich that they can simply buy out any disruptive tech and turn it to their own evil ends. We need anti-trust action to disrupt them. Break them up and destroy their business model. They are such an existential threat that we should even cheer the EU on.

  4. Miguel GFZ says:

    Let’s go back to secure coms with old Email groups and forums.

  5. “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.”

    The DNC decided it was anti-gun and Pelosi’s reign has not been one to allow for dissent from the party line. Any “pro-gun” Democrat elected is going to vote for anti-gun measures if the party bosses tell them to do so. Witness the so called ‘Blue Dog’ Democrats elected in 2006 & 2008, they rolled over and played dead to vote the party line 99% of the time when Pelosi told them to. Even if it cost them reelection.

    They simply do not want nor care for the pro-gun vote in their party.

    Those of us stuck in blue states know this well. The local Donks don’t need our votes and don’t give a shit about the 2A besides kicking us in the teeth to collect sweet campaign $$$ from Sugar Daddy Bloomberg.

    • Alpheus says:

      Indeed. The tying of gun culture to conservative causes is as much a problem caused by Democrats abandoning the issue as it is Republicans pushing other issues.

      I don’t know what to do about it, because in no small part, it was because it was when blue dog Democrats voted for ObamaCare — and thus lost their elections — that was a major factor in this polarization.

      • Sebastian says:

        I expect political parties to push issues that are important to its coalition members. But I expect organizations who I pay to defend my Second Amendment rights to mostly stick to that issue, and that issue only.

        • HSR47 says:

          Again though, the point is that the “other issues” problem only became an issue after the democrats decided to completely abandon us.

          I’m not saying that it’s a good thing for the movement long-term, but things are bad enough when ONE party decides to completely abandon us; Imagine how bad it would be if the republicans decided to do likewise.

          Given the context, it was a tourniquet applied to a bloody stump.

  6. dwb says:

    “Society as a whole decided centralized control of the Internet was desirable”

    No: Social media (like computer operating systems) are a natural monopoly. The technical economics term is “network effect externalities” – basically, people want to be on a platform where other people are. Alternative platforms have not had a lot of success because literally you have to convince all your followers and friends to move as well.

    The time the gov tried to break up Microsoft did not accomplish much and I think soured the FTC and DOJ on antitrust enforcement. Antitrust enforcement usually comes too late to do anything anyway.

    Our best friend in this regard is not some new disruptive media (which may exhibit the same network tendency toward monopoly).

    Our best friend is the scope of the 1st amendment in California: “public squares” i.e. public forums should be free from censorship. I hear people when they say we don’t want to regulate, but monopolies are a different anti-competitive anti-free-market species.

    Also, we should not be “waiting” to organize or crying in our boots about Facepalm and social media. We should be joining them and adopting the techniques that work.

    • Alpheus says:

      I have sometimes wondered (and wondered this for years) if it wouldn’t be possible to create an alternative to Facebook — to all these sites, really — that is highly decentralized and open.

      I’m not 100% sure how to create such a service. I’ve been thinking about it, off and on, for years, so I have some ideas, but I’m not entirely sure if I have ideas that would work. And aye, there’s the rub….

      • Richard says:

        I have recently subscribed to Spotify. It is a subscription music site. It is also successful. Wondering if that model would be applicable to a Facebook successor. They would get their revenue from the subscription fee and promise not to spy on you. Of course, you would have to utterly destroy Facebook with government action or they would just buy it.

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  1. Here is your 2019 guideline for the Gun Rights’ battles. - […] Sebastian nails it so hard, it is not even funny.  […]
  2. SayUncle » I think he is 100% correct - […] Sebastian: In my mind gun people are suffering from a number of maladies […]

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