Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun group "Mayors Against Illegal Guns," along with his extremist anti-gun puppet group, "Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America," henceforth to be known here as "Bloomberg Moms" (BMs), has lately been demanding that Facebook get on board with the groups' extremist gun ban agenda. Concerned that prospective gun buyers are using the social media site to (gasp!) make contact with people wishing to sell guns, the BMs want Facebook to ban the practice of arranging gun sales on the site, despite the fact that such sales are subject to exactly the same laws that encumber any other private gun sale in that jurisdiction. According to VentureBeat, that pressure may be bearing fruit:
Facebook may announce company policy changes for gun-related pages in the coming weeks, VentureBeat has learned.
The social network has been under pressure from the powerful Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the Moms Demand Action civic group to ban gun-themed fan pages on the site.
“Talks are progressing. The discussions are ongoing; there have been positive developments,” sources close to the conversations told VentureBeat.
Campaigns like this one are hardly new. Gun ban zealots' have been spewing the noise pollution of hysterical demands to shut down the "internet loophole" for years. Since then, we have seen similar shrieking about gun sales facilitated by Instagram (now owned by Facebook), and the social media giant Reddit. If one goes back far enough, it turns out that there was once an effort to close--get this--the "newspaper loophole," because guns sold through classified ads are apparently so much more dangerous than other guns.
Again, sales arranged by any of these methods are subject to precisely the same laws as other gun sales--the only difference is in how easily the two parties can find and one another and arrange a sale. These control freaks demand authority over not only who can buy guns, what kinds of guns, how much ammunition they can hold, what kind of ammunition they can fire, etc.--they also demand control over how prospective gun buyers and sellers talk to each other.
But that may not be the worst part. Let's take another look at the wording in VentureBeat's article: "The social network has been under pressure from the powerful Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the Moms Demand Action civic group to ban gun-themed fan pages on the site."
Now what, exactly, are "gun-themed fan pages"? The term seems rather ambiguous--distressingly ambiguous, perhaps, but what is not so ambiguous is that it sounds rather more broad than "gun sales pages." There must be thousands of "gun-themed" pages, including one that makes Gun Rights Examiner articles easy for gun rights advocates (many of whom could conceivably be referred to as "fans" of guns) to find. Are those to be on the chopping block, too?
Even if not, one can easily imagine the kind of hate-filled, rage-fueled forcible citizen disarmament fanatics like whoever created this Facebook page staging a "false flag" operation by joining gun discussion groups on Facebook under a pseudonym, arranging fake "gun sales," and before the page administrators can do anything about it, reporting the banned activity to Facebook, and getting the page banned.
Remember, these creatures are demanding control over how we talk about guns--why would they shrink from dishonorable methods to gain that control?
Update: There is a petition asking Facebook to continue its current practice, and leave "gun-themed" Facebook pages alone. Please consider signing it and distributing the link.
Update 2: Actually, there is at least one more petition asking Facebook to not censor "gun-themed" FB pages. Also worth a signature and sharing with like-minded friends.
Update 3: It appears that Facebook has done the right thing, and announced a policy that should change very little about how things are done on "gun-themed" pages, although if the BMs' history is any guide, they'll spin this as a resounding "victory" for their side. Still, please keep the pressure on with the petitions.
(H/T Guns Save Lives
- Bloomberg online gun sting creates more questions than answers
- Are gun sales arranged online a 'loophole'?
- Gun owners squandering valuable resources by ignoring social media
- Closing the 'Instagram loophole' would require violating 1st and 2nd Amendments
- Mother Jones frets about 'Reddit loophole' for gun sales