If you believe in the right to keep and bear arms, is your online advocacy to blame? (Tree of Life/Facebook)USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Two headline-dominating events have given “progressives” plenty of ammunition to manipulate public opinion right before the midterm elections: the opportunistically-named “MAGAbomber” and the suspect accused of murdering Jewish congregants in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. To no one’s surprise, renewed fury against Donald Trump, Republicans and gun owners is at fever pitch, much of it egged on by those intent on making the “blue wave” a reality by energizing Democrats and demoralizing the GOP.
Gun owners have plenty of resources to consult where they can find out more about both cases and the low-hanging fruits reportedly behind them. The constant is that the new volley of anti-gun attacks is just as hysterical and illegitimate as the last volley, and the one before that. I’ve weighed in briefly on both the incompetent “bomber” and the synagogue slaughter at my The War on Guns blog. Rather than parrot readily-findable information and arguments, I’d now like to focus on a threat we must not overlook while our natural focus is on renewed assaults against the right to keep and bear arms.
That's the renewed assault underway on the ability of gun owners to obtain and share information needed for the defense of that right.
The practice of “scrubbing” suspect accounts from social media sites means all information the public can obtain about them will be controlled by the government and fed to establishment media outlets, with predictably identical “news” reports, and editorials all repeating the same anti-gun talking points. The ability to independently investigate the accused is cut off to those trying to see if the “official” story is accurate and untainted by agenda. That social media giants Facebook and Twitter are so publicly in the “progressive” camp makes it not unreasonable to ask why, instead of taking the accounts down, they couldn’t just freeze them so no additions or changes could be made, but leaving the content up.
Case in point: Why were all the “bomber” suspect’s Twitter follows “liberal” politicians, celebrities and media outlets? He didn’t follow anyone sharing his ostensible views and was therefore not sharing their online sentiments and reactions to current events? Perhaps the simplest explanation is he just wanted to keep tabs on potential victims, but that’s just a kneejerk opinion without justifying evidence. It seems a thread worth pulling to see if anything unravels.
The suspect’s sticker-covered van should be a reminder that political statements are taken by some as all the excuse they need to get ugly (remember the torched truck with the pro-Trump sticker?). It’s almost miraculous the vehicle survived untouched for so long in “progressive” Broward County. And there’s another factor that could put the chill on political stickers that smack of “conservative” advocacy: Politically manipulated law enforcement.
“Now, thanks to SPLC, something as simple as having a political bumper sticker on your car, supposedly protected speech, takes a heightened alert situation and urges police to view non-leftist political sentiment as a potentially lethal personal threat,” I noted eight years ago. I was commenting on a Southern Poverty Law Center video warning cops about clues to look for in traffic stops.
“[W]ith all the conflation, what message will be enough to trigger a protective reaction?” the article continued. “How about ‘I’m the NRA’?”
You’ll never guess what happened. After the “Lunabomber,” do you think displaying RKBA-related stickers on their cars will make things better or worse of gun owners, particularly those in Democrat-majority areas?
More chilling, and pretty much unnoticed except by liberty advocacy commentators, is some immediate fallout announced by Gab founder and CEO Andrew Torba:
Torba has since announced a new hosting provider has been secured, but the chilling effect is clear.
So much for viable alternatives to the Twitter/Facebook oligarchies, with their suppression and outright bans of any thought they deem offensive. The intent is clear. Speech that does not advance a “progressive” narrative must be eliminated from the public discourse. And anyone who disagrees will be conflated with real haters.
I’ll leave it to other times to speculate on how this all plays into Democrat hands right before the elections, and what the likely effects will be on Republicans who all too often fold at the first sign of pressure.
Our part for the moment is to hold fast and not lose heart. And to remind those within our spheres of influence that the ones who deserve being reviled in all this are the ones who committed acts of terror. Those who believe in liberty have been the ones offering the only viable solutions consistent with founding intent: Remove those unfit to live among us (after providing full due process) and encourage people to possess the means of their own defense.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and a contributor to Firearms News, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.