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No More Google Ads

I’m done with Google. Fuck them. They keep altering the deal, they are evil as fuck, and I’m sick of it. I’m leaving the “Join the NRA” up, even though the NRA is a mess right now. I still think it’s important. Join, and vote the grifters out!

This is a Good Thing

Apparently the National African American Gun Association is thriving. Wayne is out of touch with younger shooters (and by younger, at this point, I mean anyone under 50), and he’s bitterly clinging to his EVP role despite the fact that he’s a few months away from becoming a septuagenarian. So I’m going to be a lot more supportive of groups that are reaching gun owners the NRA has no ability or even interest in reaching. Like African American shooters, or, you know, younger shooters.

Speaking of younger shooters…. I feel like Chris Cox and his inner circle got the typical Gen X treatment. It’s the curse of our generation. Gen Xers are utterly powerless: sandwiched between the much larger Boomer and Millennial cohorts. We’ll never be in charge of anything. The Boomers are going to pass that shit right to the Millennials, then spend their twilight years posting memes on Facebook about how they’re ruining the country.

So good on NAAGA. I hope they continue to grow.

Community is Probably Now More Important than Ever

Don’t be that lone shooter. Get involved in something related to shooting. Training new shooters is a great contribution. Get involved in clubs. Get involved with other shooters somehow. Figure out how to plug those people into a network.

Because citizens around the world have chosen to let a small handful of companies do gatekeeping on the Internet, we’re going to face challenges building the Late Professor Brian Anse Patrick called “Horizontal Interpretive Communities.” If you don’t know what those are, read the book. While the tech monopolies are going to throw challenges at us, they aren’t going to be able to enact perfect censorship. We will need to get creative. We will need to fly under the radar.

Social Media Makes Moral Panics Easier to Foment

If you want to understand some of my dissatisfaction about early 21st century life, I direct you to the Moral Panic. Social media has made it trivially easy to whip up moral panic. Hell some baby boomer feeds I see on social media are nothing but moral panic every waking hour of the day.

From another source on moral panic:

Central to the moral panic concept is an argument that public concern or fear over an alleged social problem is mutually beneficial to state officials—that is, politicians and law enforcement authorities—and the news media. The relationship between state officials and the media is symbiotic in that politicians and law enforcement need communication channels to distribute their rhetoric and the media need tantalizing news content to attract a wide audience which, in turn, attracts advertisers. 

You don’t say? The news media isn’t as relevant as it used to be, but when it comes to fomenting a good old fashioned moral panic, nothing beats social media in its effectiveness.

Moral panics arise when distorted mass media campaigns are used to create fear, reinforce stereotypes and exacerbate pre-existing divisions in the world, often based on race, ethnicity and social class. 

Additionally, moral panics have three distinguishing characteristics.  First, there is a focused attention on the behavior, whether real or imagined, of certain individuals or groups that are transformed into what Cohen referred to as “folk devils” by the mass media. This is accomplished when the media strip these folk devils of all favorable characteristics and apply exclusively negative ones. 

Folk devils, terrorists, what’s the difference?

Finally, public hysteria over a perceived problem often results in the passing of legislation that is highly punitive, unnecessary, and serves to justify the agendas of those in positions of power and authority. 

Social media isn’t really generating anything we haven’t seen before. But I worry greatly about whether it’s democrat or anti-democratic. I’m starting to believe that social media is an anti-democratic force, largely because it makes it easier for political elites to manipulate public opinion and squelch the opinions of “folk devils.”

Not Dead

Traveling for work, and my job is kind of up in the air right now because the company is having struggles. Also, lots of goings on at my club, and not all good. Then there’s the political mess we currently find ourselves in. Not going to lie, I am pretty demoralized right now and have little energy for blogging. But will return soon.

Brain Drain

The brain drain continues, with news that David Lehman is out.

Lobbying is a very personal thing, and I believe it’s a talent, like sales, since it’s really a species of sales. Not everyone is going to be good at it. I wouldn’t be good at it.

These folks are not easily replaced. I’ve spent enough time around Wayne, even in closed off events, to think he always looks awkward and uncomfortable. Maybe he’s better at being a lobbyist than he is at being a public figure. I certainly hope so. But I’m really not encouraged by this article that indicates LaPierre signaled to NRA members he had the White House under control and the White House balked at it.

This is not good. I can’t really adequately express how effed I think we are.

Red Flag

USA Today is running an op-ed from Michael Hammond, Chief Counsel for GOA (oops, didn’t notice this was a year old).

But there’s a larger issue: If the Constitution can be suspended in a secret hearing, where does this lead? 

What if this newspaper could be shut down for 21 days without due process — based on a secret complaint? Or an individual could be arrested or imprisoned for 21 days? Or tortured?

I was reading NJ AG Gurbir Grewal’s directive to law enforcement about enforcement of New Jersey’s ERPO. I don’t even like the idea of the police walking out of someone’s house with a sharp pencil with this kind of due process. Guns aside, if the state wishes to seize my property, I have a right to due process. I shouldn’t be able to lose property just because the police think I’m an asshole.

And don’t give me “the police have to have probable cause to … blah blah blah.” We all know there’s a gulf between what things ideally should be and how they work in practice. “Upon arriving at the scene, based upon my training, knowledge and experience, I determined that Mr. Smith was a danger to himself and his family,” will be to red flag laws what, ​”I smelled marijuana coming from the car,” is for traffic stops.

Losing Ground Among Gun Owners

Latest Fox News poll, which is being touted by The Trace and no doubt being put in front of lawmakers too, shows NRA has lost ground in approval among gun owners. That’s going to be spun as gun owners coming around to gun control. That’s a lie, but that’s how it’s going to be spun, and the FAANG corporations will do their level best to make sure we can’t get our message out. We all know the reason for this drop is the utter chaos reigning at NRA.

NRA’s high favorables have always been one of its strongest assets. Wayne is pissing that away as we speak. I don’t know how, at this point, any member of the NRA Board can argue with credibility that Wayne can be allowed to remain EVP. He’s got to go. You have to restore confidence.

The time for that was yesterday. Wayne should have retired in 2016 when Trump was elected, we had the House, and things were looking about as good as they were going to get.

People who knew NRA well knew there were a lot of problems like this for a long time, but we also knew the NRA was still working pretty effectively and that fixing the problem would be more painful than letting it continue. We’re all complicit. It’s not just Wayne. But it has to be fixed now. The person primarily responsible for this mess is still running the show. That can’t stand.

Aimed Squarely at Roberts

Dems are threatening some court packing if the Court actually puts some teeth in the Second Amendment. Roberts is very concerned about the perceived legitimacy of the court, so I believe these Dems are trying to scare him into dismissing the case using arguments that will be likely to sway him.

I can tell Roberts that nothing will endanger the legitimacy of the courts more than failing to secure a robust Second Amendment right. This isn’t just calling a penalty a tax and feeling good you dodged the issue: you’re talking about erasing an amendment out of the Bill of Rights by judicial abrogation.

I Wish My Employer Would Buy Me a House

I’d even settle for a measly $400k house. I was willing to look past the suits and the travel. That was a nothing burger. But this isn’t. I get that the EVP of NRA is going to have security concerns, and that work is the primary driver of those concerns. So I’d be OK with a housing allotment to deal with security issues at any home the EVP owns. But our membership dollars should not be buying the EVP a house outright. Also, why Dallas?

I’ll be completely honest with you, if NRA buying Wayne a $6MM house in Dallas would convince him to retire, I’d say it’s a deal.

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