2021 has been a busy year thus far and it’s barely 15 days old. Whether you’re a Second Amendment Radical, a general freedomista, or just someone who gives a damn about individual rights, the incident at the United States Capitol, the deplatforming of President Trump, and other occurences have served as a chilling reminder of the forces at work out there…
This is more of a rambling discourse, so bear with me folks…
The bitterly contested Presidential election between incumbent Donald John Trump and former Vice-President Joseph Robinette Biden came to a head in many ways on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 6th. Tens of thousands of Trump supporters turned up en masse outside of the Capitol to make their voices heard, to express their displeasure with the procedures and results of the contested election, and to demonstrate to the incoming administration that they would not be silent. Of course, January 6th is also the day that traditionally Congress certifies the results of the Presidential election. It’s usually a mundane affair, since the Congresscritters generally agree with the Electoral College results that were cast in December. There’s objections, but up until now, nothing significant.
Of course, 2021 decided to pull a “Hold My Beer” on 2020, and things were a bit different. Several Senators and Representatives planned on objecting to the electoral results, as a result of widespread reports of fraud, that have yet to be honestly investigated. Sidebar: I don’t care whom you voted for, there’s been so many questions about voting processes over the past few decades, that it’s high time for a thorough investigation by law enforcement. If your guy won fair and square, you should welcome it.
Anyways, Congress was ready to certify the vote, and hear objections, when the alarm was sounded – the Capitol had been breached by protestors.
Now, fair is fair, there’s ample video evidence of the Capitol Police admitting guests into the Capitol without violence. It’s our right by the way, the Capitol belongs to we the people, and we should be free to peaceably observe any goings-on there in. While under arms even. Just being in possession of a weapon does not make one violent.
We should be free to observe and question – not terrorize and demolish. Sure, we all have our grievances with the government, but destroying their property in an offensive fashion isn’t the hallmark of a peaceful republic. That’s Third World BS right there. That’s where the problems occurred.
Whether you’re a die-hard MAGA-4-Life type, or someone else with a grievance, just arbitrarily destroying things doesn’t play well. It didn’t play well for certain groups over the previous summer, and it’s not gonna play well here.
Unfortunately it did not play well on January 6th – one Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, was shot and killed by a plainclothes government agent within the confines of the Capitol. Though too early to pass firm judgement, it does appear the agent responsible for her death either negligently discharged his service pistol, or deliberately shot her while she was trapped in the doorway. Regardless, he’s responsible for every bullet that leaves his gun, and has to answer for it.
What This Means For Gun Owners
Unfortunately optics are everything to the moderates, aka the “normies” of the world. You know the kind – they still turn on the evening news, they read the local paper, that sort of thing.
Yes, 99 percent of the protestors and marchers on January 6th conducted themselves peaceably, and rightfully condemned the violence of the small minority inside the Capitol who engaged in acts of physical violence. However, the media only cares about the sensational stories. Man rescuing dog from a flood is a paragraph on page 32 of the local birdcage liner. Some crazed guy wearing furs at a Trump rally bum-rushing the Capitol? Headlines. If it bleeds it leads.
Of course, since the supporters of President Trump are inextricably tied in with guns, it’s not playing well for us Second Amendment Radicals. Lurid reports detailed caches of weapons found on the Capitol grounds. Of course, I don’t doubt some showed up under arms, despite the laws of Washington DC. However, the media would have it that it was some Belfast-level caches that the police found. Stories of pipe bombs, long guns, and so on ran rampant.
Already, the usual sociopaths and defectives are using the events of January 6th to promote gun control and state-sanctioned violence against gun owners. Certain elements basically handed them an excuse on a silver platter. Whether it was overenthusiastc MAGA-types or people generally bent on mayhem, it’s not playing well in Peoria.
Of course, this is by design and not out of genuine concern. Gun control only ticks up in the opinion polls when there’s an incident of notoriety to fall back on. The irony isn’t lost on me that the very people calling for “defunding the police” were wondering where the police were at the Capitol?
And no, this wasn’t a false-flag event designed to gin up support for gun control and other civil rights violations. Government is the refuge of the incompetent and untalented. They need a Youtube video to wipe their own ass. Planning a false-flag event is a little beyond their skillset. The idea might pop up, but it’d get stuck in a committee for 30 years.
Expect fervent calls for citizen disarmament, nefariously cloaked in “domestic terrorism” statutes, ostensibly targed at so-called white supremacists. They don’t want to address the root causes of discontent, they’d rather punish people who had nothing to do with the incident just because they think different. It’ll be the usual round of wanting to take guns away from people by using people with guns to take guns away from people.
Speaking of thinking different…
It’s long been established that the social media and digital juggernauts are against any sort of thinking that deviates from the Silicon Valley norm of “progressive” thought. Just wanting to secure your right to be left alone really pisses them off.
Some call it the digital Reichstag Fire, others have termed it a pixel pogrom, but it all started on Friday, January 8th, when President Trump was banned from Twitter on the orders of Jack Dorsey himself. Of course, it’s a poorly-kept secret that the service intended to do so after Inauguration Day on January 20th, but the events of January 6th acted as a catalyst to step up the timetable so to speak. It didn’t stop there. Trump was subsequently locked out of Facebook, Youtube, Shopify, Campaign Monitor, Spotify, and a few others.
Sidebar: Spotify? So Trump is going to cause problems with a playlist? Really?
Anyway – ostensibly this is perfectly legal and OK. All the platforms are private entities and can do what they wish on said platforms. However, where the rubber meets the road is in a few ways:
All the platforms who banned Trump say it is because he ‘incited violence’. OK, maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. However, you can’t ethically ban one person for doing so, and let others, especially those who issue clear and present threats, remain. All the while claiming to have a Terms of Service…
Also, these actions were done in collusion with a faction of the government in exchange for preferential treatment under the law. By playing ball with the government, Twitter, Facebook, and so forth are engaging in crony capitalism, wherein the players craft legislation that will be favorable to their business interests. It’s basically like how the biggest players in the liquor indistry helped write regulations on the industry after Prohibition ended. Federal regulations on the legal production of booze were written to benefit the big players. Go on, try as an individual to get the legal paperwork together to make your own vodka. A company being willingly weaponized by players in the government is no better than the government itself. This goes for everyone. I’d look askance at Republicans crafting a law to grant advantages to a property developer who might be intent on trashing a historic urban neighborhood, for example.
Of course, the immediate financial backlash was apparent. Trump’s deplatforming resulted in Twitter’s value plummeting immensely. But, for the stalwarts of Silicon Valley, it’s not a money game, it’s a power game. They want the world on their terms. Play along, or be silenced. Jack Dorsey would have you killed if he could get away with it. There’ll be no judgement at the board of directors level either, as the boards are all fellow travellers, as it were.
It gets worse though – the backend providers got in onto the game.
Immediately after Trump’s deplatforming, Google pulled the Twitter alternative, Parler, from the Google Play store, ostensibly for failing to adequately police their content for violence. Apple gave Parler 24 hours to come up with a “moderation plan”, and subsequently pulled the app from the App Store. Parler has a web user interface, so despite the bump, they continued on, right?
Nope. Amazon Web Services got in the game.
A lot of services and sites you use on a daily basis run on Amazon Web Services (AWS), or it’s competitor, Microsoft Azure. Both are prime examples of “the cloud”, and provide a robust and resilient computing infrastructure at price points that scale according to use. You can spin up a web server in minutes. Parler was notified by Amazon that they would be shut down at midnight Pacific Time on January 11th, with no avenues for appeal. Ostensibly for “inciting violence”. By the same metric, Twitter should be subject to the same penalties – some of their resources are on AWS. Parler, thinking their earlier attempts at appeasement would have brooked them some sort of immunity, failed to plan ahead, and went dark. Furthermore, other providers with the resources to accommodate them refused their business. It can be argued that unlike Gab, Parler failed to plan for the inevitable, but at the same time it doesn’t make Amazon’s behavior somehow justified. For reference, Gab was kicked off of Azure a few years ago, and saw the score – they invested in their own server hardware and colocation facilities, to make their services more resilient.
On Monday, the attacks got a little more nuanced and pointed, especially towards gun owners. You probably heard already, but the legendary and storied ar15.com, aka Arfcom, had their domain registration immediately canceled and dropped by GoDaddy. The servers hosting Arfcom remained up, but with the registration dropped, they were rendered pretty much inaccessible. It’s akin to knowing the numeric address of a place in an unfamiliar city, and not having GPS or a roadmap to get there. And not being able to ask for directions. The house is still there, you just can’t easily get to it.
GoDaddy, of course, said they dropped the registration because Arfcom “incited violence”. No appeal process either – just “buh bye”. Meanwhile all manner of sites where violence is actually encouraged populate the registries of GoDaddy. Again, why have a TOS if you’re gonna be arbitrary?
Ironically, GoDaddy only turned “progessive” after the retirement of it’s founder, Bob Parsons, in 2018. Bob was a noted firearms enthusiast and hunter.
For those not in the know, ar15.com is the oldest firearms-related web forum in the world. It’s been around since the mid-1990s. Over time, they have grown into a sometimes-cantankerous, but well-policed online community. Their moderation practices are strict. But apparently the mere chatter about guns upset GoDaddy enormously. Seeing their bretheren at Twitter, etc ban Trump and friends emboldned them.
Thankfully, Arfcom had inklings that this was going to happen, and had a backup plan ready to go. They rapidly deployed a backup site, exported their registrations to Epik, and within hours were back up and running. It’s sad they had to though. They pulled through.
Also, even though it wasn’t by a government per se, another legendary firearms site, guns.com was taken down by a malicious hacker late in the evening on Monday, January 11th. Service has since been restored, thankfully. Sidebar: I remember when hackers were cool and not lame “progressives”. The guns.com hacker has no life and probably gets rejected even by prostitutes.
What This Means For Gun Owners
It’s no secret Big Tech is against those of us who are Second Amendment Radicals. For years, the big social networks have shadowbanned and otherwise limited the spread of firearms content. It sucks, but we’re used to it, and we adapted. The popular taunt was “Well, you can build your own Twitter!” or something similar. People did, only to see their efforts hampered or demolished from formerly-neutral entities such as the hosting providers and domain registrars.
What that means now is that even those of us who have painstakingly crafted independent voices in the Second Amendment world now have to watch our backs with regards to infrastructure. While web hosts and registrars are not common carriers and not subject to restrictions governing utilities, it is very much akin to wondering if T-Mobile or AT&T is snooping your text messages, looking for the slightest excuse to cancel your service.
Again, on a theoretical level, it’s “OK” because GoDaddy, Amazon, and the like are private entities, but when the actions are done at the behest and encouragement of government factions, it’s most certainly not alright. Doing nefarious work on the behest of the government is morally repugnant. No one like a snitch. No one likes an apple-polisher. I’d use ruder terms but I’m trying to be nice.
As I’ve noted in the past, it’s ironic that the former champions of free speech are now the arbiters of what can and cannot be said online. As Elon Musk said – “A lot of people are going to be super unhappy with West Coast high tech as the de facto arbiter of free speech”
However, adversity begets innovation. I’m truly impressed with Gab as of late. Since Trump’s deplatforming, and the (hopefully-temporary) fall of Parler, Gab has ben crushed by traffic, with as many as a million new user accounts being established daily. CEO Andrew Torba has been weathering it in stride, sparring with mainstream media journalists accusing him of inciting violence, all the while laughing away, because Gab runs and owns everything from the bare metal on up. Outside of a connectivity disruption, Gab can remain online. Sure, the “crush” makes the site performance sporadic, but it’s running.
If you support the Second Amendment, you should definitely change up your social media consumption a bit. Hang out on Gab. Sign up for GoWild – Brad Luttrell has spoken plainly about us all having to stick together and fight the Big Tech Goilath – and hell, even spin up your own web presence on a friendly host like epik.com – full disclosure, I’ve ported my registration to them away from GoDaddy.
Our digital war isn’t going to be easy, but we can win. We’re on the side of freedom and fun after all.
Last but not least, the 800-ton gorilla in the room that I’m loath to speak about, the Presidental Inauguration.
Whether we like it or not, Joseph Robinette Biden will be sworn in as President of the United States on January 20th, 2021. Barring some sort of 85th-dimension chess play, Biden will assume the hot seat as a capstone to nearly 50 years living on the taxpayer’s dime.
While Trump really did no favors for the Second Amendment outside of the courts, which could save our asses in a legal sense, it’s really no secret that Joe Biden is openly hostile to private firearms ownership.
To keep it short and sweet – buckle up. We’re gonna have a ton of work to do.
A hostile Executive Branch, a Congress bitterly divided, and even some questionable judicial processs. Yikes.
We got this. But we have to work for it.
Part of that involves putting our best foot forward as representatives of freedom and fun. Protest, rally, debate, and cajole – we have to secure our freedoms by any means necessary. It can be done peaceably. We have to use our heads.
Along those lines, a special note:
The Protests Coming Up For Inauguration Week
For a few weeks now, there’s been a lot of social media traffic about mass armed protests at all 50 state capitals this coming weekend, and leading into Inauguration Day. There’s also a lot of scuttlebutt about protests on Inauguration Day itself. In the case of the armed protests, this past week, the FBI has been warning about a “huge uprising” planned. While undoubtedly protests are planned for the coming days, none of the major gun rights organizations have structured anything, outside of the Virginia Civil Defense League, which has held Lobby Day (usually coinciding with Dr Martin Luther King’s Birthday) for years now. The rona or no rona, we have every right to protest – while under arms, as well.
Of course, individual rights and the law don’t always intersect. In a few states, protesting while armed is illegal. In Washington DC, it’s double-secret illegal, triply so during a national security event such as the inauguration of a President who was selected the winner from a bitterly-contested election.
A buffalo jump is where the Indians would cajole and herd buffalo into one great big charging mass of fur and meat. Right off of a cliff, to their deaths. As we’ve seen, the potential for violence is high, and I have no doubts in my mind that a lot of the protests over the coming days will be attended by instigators from the opposition, and yes, potentially instigators from the administrative state itself. Let’s be blunt, the government isn’t looking too friendly at the moment. It just feels like they are trying to amplify unrest, looking for another excuse for a crackdown. They can’t plan a false-flag event, but even a monkey can engage in opportunism.
If you’re gonna go protest – you have my support. I support anyone who exercises a natural and individual right to the fullest extent. All I ask is that you take a moment to consider the gravity of the situation. Hell, even if you are doing a rally in support of the incoming federal regime, you’ll have some problems. Regardless – if you choose to roll out:
You’ll be photographed and documented by government agents
You’ll potentially be “doxxed” by bad actors. Tromping around in the cold, rifle slung, chanting “Stop The Steal!”? Someone may try to find out your personal details, and use it against you.
You could potentially find yourself in the middle of a buffalo jump, whether you like it or not. If you feel like things are going off a cliff, break free and get the heck out of Dodge.
Most of all, be a model citizen of our Constitutional Republic. Remember, democracy is mob rule – don’t be part of the mob.
There’s a lot of forces aligned against those of us on the side of freedom and fun. Big Tech, the government, Hollywood, and individual bad actors all seek to demonize and derail Second Amendment Radicals and other like-minded folk. We cannot let that happen. Let’s put aside petty differences – if you support the Second Amendment like I do, welcome aboard.
I’m glad to have you around.
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Source link: https://regularguyguns.com/2021/01/14/Unrest-Big-Tech-On-The-Move-Against-Guns/ by Regular Guy at regularguyguns.com