How do you maintain message discipline in a group? Behold one method.
Recently a Maryland gun dealer, who was planning to sell a smart gun, got death threats from gun-rights activists. The threats worked! He dropped his plan to sell smart guns. This is why the government tippy toes around their activists at Bundy protests and locks up ours at Occupy events.
Here is the video, cued up to the point where he talks about the response he got from the gun loving radicals in charge of messaging: Warning Strong Fucking Language.
“Obviously I received numerous death threats today. I really fucking appreciate that. That’s fucking classy. That’s a great thing for gun rights when you threaten to shoot somebody. That was really splendid.
“If you’re going to kill somebody, shoot the politicians who make these fucking [gun violence prevention] laws. If that’s who you want to fucking go at, shoot the people who make these laws. Take ‘em out in the street, and gun ‘em the fuck down. There’s a goddamn reason why we got these fucking things [guns]. There’s a fucking reason why we got ‘em. And that’s to defend our fucking freedom. Don’t fucking come at me with this shit. That’s to the people who called up and threatened to fucking kill me.”
– Andy Raymond, owner of Engage Armament LLC in Rockville, Maryland
Here is a piece with some back story from the Washington Post. and here is a piece from the Chris Hayes show that should air this evening where they talk about how smart gun technology will have an impact in New Jersey. (I’ll link to it when the video is up.)
If you watch the whole video you can hear him explain how he was for smart guns as a way to bring people on the fence into the fold. He saw this as a way to make money, and convert some people. You see his anger at people he thought would be supporters. He’s saying “Take the bulls eye off of me! Why not put it on the people who are the real threat? If you are so eager to threaten and kill, why not do it and see what that gets you?”
He starts the video explaining “I’ve been drinking” and says he doesn’t know how to edit the video. That’s bad for him, but insightful for us. Who knows how this will hurt him, but it is helpful to us to see the kind of pressure moderates are in in the gun culture. Remember when we heard RW radio and TV hosts complaining that the moderate Muslims should “reign in” the radical Muslims? Maybe people who are moderates have more stories to tell but afraid. I don’t blame them.
It’s too bad that he didn’t capture some of the death threat calls with phone numbers or identifying IP information. I suppose ‘ratting out’ those people is seen as less honorable than shooting yourself in the foot on video before the nation. Besides, who would he turn the information over too? The FBI? Local law enforcement? What would they do to them? Take away their guns?
Each and every step he might take would repudiate what these people stand for. Sometimes I envy the hierarchical right with their “everything is on the table” discipline options for people who don’t toe the party line. But most of the time I don’t. I’m not a death threat kind of guy. I think it’s illegal, but don’t quote me.
Oh and by the way, if you want to help out the people who are trying to deescalate the violence? Take these actions suggested by my friends at the Center to Prevent Gun Violence. But I won’t threaten you if you don’t. That’s not how I roll.