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Jun 18 • 10 tweets • 3 min read
🧵 on today's NYT piece, a 🤌 example of gun reporting as orientalism. The factual parts of the article are pretty good, albeit incomplete. But the overall vibe is that gun owners are an exotic, potentially beguiling, and ultimately primitive culture.
The easiest bit to dispense with is the one in the headline. It's actually just a few short parts of the article, but the claim is that the industry is built on toxic, cartoon-tough-guy masculinity. The evidence for that claim is … a few nut-picked ads over the past 20 years.
Feb 23, 2021 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Unfortunate but expected. Like the handful of other standard-cap mag bans, this'll need the Supreme Court to 👀.
Fun historical fact: in 1903 the Vermont Supreme Court struck down the state's carry permit law, making Vermont the only state in the country with permitless carry.
Vermont remained the only state with permitless carry for the next 100 years, until Alaska became #2 in 2003. Carry permits had bubbled up here and there since colonial times, but didn't really become a thing until the South's post-Civil War push to disarm former slaves.
Jan 16, 2021 • 8 tweets • 2 min read
The Trace is running a hit piece soon about a bunch of big 2A social media influencers. Here's a screenshot from an email they sent to a company, soliciting comment.
It's a great example of how this flavor of reputational blackmail works.
🧵 Anatomy of a hit piece 👇
The first thing to notice is the subtle-but-sweeping category creep. In two sentences, the suspect category expands from insurrectionists to conspiracy theorists to people talking about elections and politics and finally all the way to people who warn of gun confiscation.
Dec 31, 2020 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Look at our top tweets from each quarter of 2020 and you see a microcosm of how gun rights themselves evolved this year.
Our top Q1 tweet was on Jan 13. The year had *a lot* of surprises in store, and this got swept away. But it'll be back.
A good example of an effective meme we see pretty frequently. The reason it's effective is simple: it's true — sort of. By picking a narrow slice of the story, it misleads while seeming (to a lay audience) to inform. Short thread on "the middlebrow factoid".
If you think of it like “let’s figure out if gun rights are a net positive or net negative”, this makes no sense. The incentive should be to learn all the technical details you could, to be an expert on all aspects of the field. So performative ignorance would be hard to explain.
Jan 2, 2020 • 11 tweets • 4 min read
Got this excellent question about our CCW thread from yesterday. A tough but thoughtful question, our favorite kind.
Our starting point is (to steal from our home page) this: “We’re all born with the right of self-defense, to control our own destiny. And for that to mean anything — especially for our weakest, poorest, or most disadvantaged — it means having great tools for self-defense.”
Dec 31, 2019 • 14 tweets • 4 min read
CCW creates an empirical problem for those that made dire predictions: over the past 30 years, it swept the nation. The dire predictions didn’t come true. 2 things did:
- Millions able to carry safely
- No more police pretext (under may-issue) to frisk poor people
How it works: write straight news pieces that flatly state your position is popular, irrespective of what the data says. This forces preference falsification among the laity, who are busy and don’t track the data on what’s empirically popular/unpopular. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preferenc…
Sep 3, 2019 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
He calls for repealing ~every fed. gun law other than the NFA, and *doesn’t know that’s what he’s saying*. Interesting case study: how does a former boss of the NYT publish a WaPo op-ed, and all involved—smart people, to be sure—research literally nothing about the core premise?
These are very smart people at the top of their field. So it’s strange. How can the very best journalists in the world make a middle-school-level error that would have been prevented by a single google search? More to the point, what is the incentive structure that allows that?
Jun 1, 2019 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
💯. A jackhammer is ~130 dB. Suppressed gunfire is ~140 dB. Decibels are a logarithmic scale, so +10 dB is *twice as loud*. You can hear a jackhammer from blocks away, so good news, a silencer is twice as loud as that. Zero public safety danger.
Also good news: silencers add exactly zero utility for a criminal. Gun still audible from blocks away, and still pops up on ShotSpotter. But less concealable, more unwieldy, less disorienting to victims (attacker can bring ear pro, victims can’t), and one more point of failure.