Pretty good decision from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in regards to whether you can be stopped if the police spot you carrying a gun. I’m hoping this also dissuades the folks who seem to think maybe the Supreme Court is up for revisiting Ortiz. I feel better that they are not after seeing this.
Month: May 2019
Don’t Entrust Your Business to Cloud Providers
This goes double if you’re in the gun business. I should say, you should never entrust any critical business function to the cloud. We use some cloud services, but if they disappeared tomorrow they could be replaced quickly without great pain.
Salesforce.com doesn’t want retailers using its e-commerce technology to sell automatic and semiautomatic firearms.
The software giant recently changed its acceptable-use policy to prohibit its customers from selling a range of weapons and some gun parts, including “magazines capable of accepting more than 10 rounds” and “multi-burst trigger devices.”
They cut off Camping World. Hopefully Camping World does the right thing and tells SalesForce to go to hell. If they cave, I’ll never shop there.
This is a big reason I keep our club on QuickBooks Desktop, despite them having a cloud version. I could not replace QuickBooks easily. But at least with the Desktop software, they can’t cut me off.
SalesForce is a shitty company anyway with a shitty product. To be honest, even before this, I never would have done business with them.
I’m Hearing the Right Things
NRA is commenting on the Ack-Mac terminating NRA as a client:
Andrew Arulanandam, managing director of NRA Public Affairs, added in his own statement that changes are coming to the NRAâ€™s communications strategy. â€œThe NRA is eager to return the focus of its messaging to our core mission, the Second Amendment and our steadfast fight to protect Americaâ€™s constitutional freedoms,â€ he said.
Whatever changes are coming to the NRA, they do not appear to include a retreat from politics. â€œWe have an opportunity to elevate our brand, communicate with a broader community of gun owners, and press the advantage in the upcoming 2020 elections,â€ Arulanandam said.
They have to do this. Ack-Mac’s messaging threw NRA in wholly with the right. Some were pointing out the Brewer is a big Dem donor. Maybe they are viewing that as a feature and not a bug. At some point the Dems are going to be back in power. Ack-Mac’s messaging has completely alienated moderate and left-of-center gun owners, and pro-gun Democrats are a critically endangered species, nearing total extinction. This absolutely has to be reversed.
It’s increasingly looking to me like the Brewer firm are Ack-Mac’s replacement. I care about results. If I see good results; if NRA does indeed return to it’s core mission and jettisons the Angry Dana strategy, I don’t really care if the CEO of the firm donates to Dems. I don’t vet all my vendors for ideological purity, and I don’t expect NRA to do so either. What matters are results.
In-Ear Hearing Protection
Now that I’m helping run an action steel program, I’m finding that being on the line all day wearing electronic earmuffs in hot weather is awful. I’d like to be able to wear a hat that offers more shade than a ball cap. I’m looking at electronic plugs, but it looks like anything decent is ridiculously expensive. Walker has the Razor line, which would be fine, but they don’t look to be binaural, which is a deal breaker for me.
I know there are mechanical earplugs which are open for conversation normally, but close in response to loud impulse, however I have no idea if they are actually any good. I know people who swear by them. But earplugs aren’t exactly something you want to ask your shooting buddy “Hey, can I try that?”
I’m curious how much these work, and whether they hush conversation too much. The thing I like about electronic muffs is that I can’t tell I’m muffed unless I’m trying to hear someone over a lot of gunfire. I’ll even forget I have them on in winter.
Anyone have any recommendations?
Ack-Mac Fires NRA as a Client
John Richardson has the story. Of course, this could also be exactly what NRA wanted, and Ack-Mac is just bending to the pressure and trying to spin this in public to maintain the narrative that they are the real victim here, if only for the sake of not scaring off their other clients.
I doubt either party really wants to take this to court, and have it become public, because I doubt either party will come out looking good. I expect this matter to settle.
Shoot Steel Zucked
Seen on Facebook this morning:
I’ve been reading Glenn Reynold’s new book on social media, which so far I’d recommend. As much as I think Facebook are classic monopolists, and could be regulated as such, I don’t think government regulation will be what ultimately displaces Facebook. I’m very interested in federated social networks and view that as a way forward, where we could have the benefits of social media without the centralized control that makes it probably the most potent political weapon ever devised by man.
Thinking about it, Usenet was a federated network. Usenet was also a sewer, but at least it was harder for a small group of people to manipulate.
Ack-Mac Sues NRA
Counterclaim for $50MM filed. Haven’t seen the complaint yet. It should be interesting.
The Spy Who Talked to Me
Glenn Reynolds links to an article that suggests Marina Butina was railroaded. I met Maria Butina briefly at an NRA function at the annual meeting. I still have her business card. She was completely up front that her organization had the blessing of the Kremlin. I remember her saying that, and saying that they were not an opposition group, since such things aren’t allowed.
I didn’t think much of it because at the time the UN Arms Trade Treaty was among the buzz, and the Kremlin was opposed. So I figured the outreach was to build alliances against the treaty. I don’t recall her claiming she was just a little old Russian girl from Siberia who started a gun rights group, though she did pitch she was hoping to build an RKBA movement in Russia.
I take the Spectator article with a grain of salt. I accept that Butina is probably sitting in prison for engaging in what a lot of foreign nationals in DC routinely do. I accept that she was unlucky enough to get caught up in the Russian collusion narrative and that her activity would never have risen to the level of being noticed otherwise. I do agree she wasn’t a spy in the sense most people understand it. But she is, in my opinion, guilty of what she was charged with, along with a lot of other foreign nationals that will never be unlucky enough to get caught up in a red scare-like whirlwind.
Second Ack-Mac Suit Filed
This time over the leaks. I’m not surprised by that. Most contracts are going to have non-disclosure agreements within them. But I suspect the end of the relationship with NRA will mean the end of Ackerman-McQueen. Or at the least, they’ll go back to being a small firm serving Oklahoma City. Have you ever seen their Glassdoor Reviews? Not great. One comment notes:
There have been a growing number of layoffs, due to not winning any major new clients, so irrationality, desperation is setting in â€“ it may just be karma.
Very unprofessional at times and disrespectful to employees. AM puts power over people and rules by fear while successful companies put power under their employees and rules by encouragement. The funny thing is, I’m not making this up. It’s evident in that the company is losing clients left and right and is HEAVILY dependent on one client. If we lost that one client, AM would nearly collapse.
Now, I take bad Glassdoor reviews with a grain of salt, because unhappy employees are going to be the ones leaving reviews. But I do think patterns are useful. If everyone complains about the same things, it’s probably happening.
But note the last line. I suspect that is now what’s happening. I know some people are annoyed at my focus on Ack-Mac, but right now I view booting them as an achievable victory. The Board has signaled they are with Wayne, for now. There’s nothing that can be done there in the short term. I also don’t trust the people gunning for Wayne right now. There are no good guys here, so I am holding out for at least throwing one of the bad guys in this bad drama overboard.
UPDATE: Complaint can be found here.
Letter from NRA Past Presidents
John Richardson has it. Ack-Mac is going away, right guys? We’re done paying for crappy YouTube videos no one watches, right? Note, from the letter:
The vast majority of the travel in question involved donor outreach, fundraising, and stakeholder engagement. As an example, The Wall Street Journal reported that a trip to Italy was â€œtied to a 2015 documentary feature on the Italian gun maker posted on NRATV.â€ Beretta, as you may know, is a major supporter of the NRA and our Second Amendment.
How many people watched the video? I can’t find it, but how many views did it get? I only found one video on location in Italy, and it has 1052 views.
Nice video, but how much money went out for each of those views? I probably don’t even want to know.
UPDATE: Just for the record, I’m not buying the smokescreen that everything is hunky dory.