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Hi.

Short diary here--just wanted to post a letter that I wrote to a Rockville, Maryland gun dealer who yesterday bowed to pressure from the NRA and other death cults to not sell this new "smart gun".  Disclaimer: I'm not a gun owner, I support strong, sensible regulation (after all, ALL of our constitutional rights are subject to regulation) but I think that my email should be reasonable to [reasonable] 2nd amendment advocates as well.

2nd disclaimer:  I'm not actually a new poster here---having some problems with my regular account that I'm trying to sort out but wanted to post this while it was still relevant.

The letter follows below the stylized Al Jazeera logo (it does remind me of the Al Jazeera logo)

Dear Mr. R*--

As a Marylander and a long time resident of Montgomery County (although I've since moved away), I'm very disturbed at your decision to cave in to the pressures of some of the most fringe lunatics of the gun rights lobby.

I'm not a gun owner--now I live in Europe where that would be difficult anyway.  But while I understand your concern for your company, your decision to abandon your own business decisions because of militant (terrorist) threats only strengthens the most radical, fringe groups of people who, contrary to the spirit of the second amendment and the security of this country, only want to use their guns to be able to threaten and kill people.  These are the people who believe that Sandy Hook is a government plot, that Jews, Blacks and Latinos are better off dead than in this country, that the only acceptable world is one where paranoia runs free and vigilante justice is the only acceptable definition of masculinity.  By catering to the demands of these people, you are by definition letting terrorists win.

Fortunately, the stronger Maryland laws are going to continue to marginaiize these kinds of insane people and I hope that eventually their voices will not be heard anymore, so you will once again be free to make your own business decisions and hopefully be able to comfortably support yourself and your family.,   In the meantime, the right thing to do is to spit in their faces and go with your original, and quite applaudable, decision to sell some of these safer firearms.

All the best,

* took the guy's last name out.  It's public knowledge, but it's probably not necessary (as I didn't include my name either!)

9:58 AM PT: You all might want a link to the story, too:  Washington Post

11:09 AM PT: Oops--didn't see the original diary from yesterday.  Here's the link:  Diary

Sun May 04, 2014 at 2:48 PM PT: I actually got a really nice response from the guy.  Not going to post it here--and while he is very much on the opposite site of the spectrum from me, he reiterated that while he still stands by his initial decision to make this new gun available, he felt that "principles will not pay my employees salary, rebuild a burned down shop, or put food on the table."  An honest response--and an appreciated one--as much as I disagree with much of what he stands for on the 2nd amendment issue.

Originally posted to Namazga III on Sat May 03, 2014 at 09:42 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Firearms Law and Policy, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), and Maryland Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The NRA's opposition to smart guns (25+ / 0-)

    tells us all we need to know about their commitment to crime prevention, criminal law enforcement, and safety.

  •  Bravo (15+ / 0-)

    Republished to Shutdown the NRA

    You can post a link to your prior account in your profile.

    I don't speak for Adming, but it's my understanding that as long as you don't use both usernames at the same time, or to rec each other, etc. I think you're ok.

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Sat May 03, 2014 at 10:06:30 AM PDT

  •  Republished to Firearms Law and Policy (15+ / 0-)

    with this Editor's note:

    Anyone who wants to support development of safer guns can urge this small business to stand up to the NRA. You don't need to be a gun owner or even ever plan to purchase again to express your outrage against domestic terrorism and vigilante logic.

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Sat May 03, 2014 at 10:25:34 AM PDT

  •  the only thing I see threatened (11+ / 0-)

    by the smart gun is the black market.  So NRA, what do you have to say???

    •  They protect funnelings of illegal guns (0+ / 0-)

      to the black market.

      By that means they invent the boogeyman against which they sell their fear-and-guns = gun industry profits.

      This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

      by JJustin on Sun May 04, 2014 at 12:02:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What do innnovator companies need? (14+ / 0-)

    The first generation smart gun doesn't have to be reliable enough for police, reliable enough for war, reliable enough for blind grandma, reliable enough for a child. It doesn't even have to be reliable enough for you, your gun club, or your gun-related business.

    It only has to be reliable for the early adopter consumers who are willing to give it a try. It could be a sport shooter or a collector or a first time gun owner. The early adopters will make or break the product. And might make or break the company. To continue innovating, the innovator company needs to see some return on their initial prototyps. Most important, they need real world feedback on how their product performs in the hands and homes of their customers. In non-laboratory conditions.

    Innovator companies willing to risk developing a safer or better product, need to be able to launch a product when they think it's good enough.

    No gun owner is risking their life. It's the innovative company that is taking all the risk, putting their brand name and market share on the line.

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Sat May 03, 2014 at 10:31:35 AM PDT

  •  I just don't get it; I frequent the "nutter" gun (15+ / 0-)

    related sites from time to time and it appears to me that the smart gun is the wave of the future.  After all, who would not want a gun that in theory could not be turned against its owner?  

    However, in my lurkings, I find the "slippery slope" argument used over and over (with the same credibility as LBJ's domino effect in my eyes) whereby it is posited that the sneaky feds want guns that can be "turned off" because then, when the UN Blue Helmets march in to confiscate our guns, the Wolverine militias cannot intervene

    •  that's exactly it. Any move by any authority (5+ / 0-)

      corresponds to direct social-commun-facisto-whatever government taking over your soul.  These people are 1,000 x more dangerous to the fabric of American society than these people we go around drone-bombing 10,000 miles away

    •  That's how I see it... (10+ / 0-)

      ...the gun cannot be turned on me.  Just as important:

      (1)  If I mess up one day and leave the gun unsecured around other household members, the odds of a mishap are reduced.

      (2)  If a kid brings one to school in their backpack, the odds of a mishap are reduced.

      "Reduced" doesn't mean "eliminated", so safe handling and storage practices still apply. This just adds a layer of failure tolerance.

      "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

      by DaveinBremerton on Sat May 03, 2014 at 12:27:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The "issue"... (4+ / 0-)

      regarding smart guns is a New Jersey law.  From my understanding, New Jersey will require smart gun technology an all new sales two years after the technology is first on the market.

      In the eyes of many gun rights activists, this is the back door gun grab.  

      •  As ever, they are staunchly and stubbornly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StevenD56, Namazga III

        ignorant of history.  This is a statute enacted by the Original Thirteen, at the prompting of the Continental Congress, during the "revolution".  It was called, in short, "Test," and applied to those who refused or failed to sign the Founders' "oath of loyalty to the Cause" -- called "Non-Associators"; refuse or fail to sign the "oath" and all of ones weapons were . . . um, "gun-grabbed":

        An Ordinance Respecting the Arms of Non-Associators.

          Whereas the non-associators in this state have either refused or neglected to deliver up their arms according to the resolves of the honorable Continental Congress and the assembly of Pennsylvania, and effectual measures have not been taken to carry the said resolves into execution:
          [Section I.]  Be it therefore ordained by the authority of this Convention, That the colonel or next officer in command of every band of militia in this state is hereby authorized, empowered and required to collect, receive and take all the arms in his district or township nearest to such officer which are in the hands of non-associators in the most expeditious and effectual manner in his power, and shall give to the owners receipts for such arms, specifying the amount of the appraisement; and such as can be repaired shall with all possible dispatch be rendered fit for service, and the value according to the appraisement of all such arms, together with the repairs and transportation, shall be paid to the officers by the treasurer on the order of the council of safety for the use of the owners and defraying the charges.
          [Section II.]  And be it further ordained, That the same arms shall be appraised by any three reputable freeholders appointed by the commanding officer; but if the owner of any arms shall neglect or refuse to apply for such money within six months the same shall be applied towards the repairs of the arms; and the colonels are hereby authorized to draw for the necessary sums of money for the purposes aforesaid on the council of safety.
          [Section III.]  And it is further ordained, That the colonels aforesaid shall arm the associators with the said arms and keep an account to whom they are delivered and return the same to the council of safety; and every associator shall be answerable for such ares of the value unless lost or destroyed by some unavoidable accident or in actual service.
          [Section IV.]  And be it further ordained, That in case any arms so collected shall not be worth repairing, the same shall be laid by until such time as may be thought proper by the committee of the county to return them to the owners.

        Passed July 19, 1776.  Statutes at Large of the State of Pennsylvania, Vol. IX.

        This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

        by JJustin on Sun May 04, 2014 at 12:12:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I... (0+ / 0-)

          did not know this.  Quite an interesting piece of history.  Thanks!

          •  Perhaps eventually I'll post the version (0+ / 0-)

            enacted by Massachusetts-Bay; it is several pages long, though, in extensive fine detail.  Meanwhile, this is another Militia statute enacted during the "revolution".  

            At a General Assembly begun and held at the Public Buildings in the City of Richmond, on Monday the 21st day of October, in the Year of our Lord 1782.

            Chap. XII.

            An act for the recovery of arms and accoutrements belonging to the state.

            I.  Whereas sundry arms and accoutrements belonging to the public in the hands of individuals, who have neglected to return them to the proper officers; and it is necessary that such arms and accoutrements should be recovered as speedily as possible: Be it enacted, that the Governor do, on the passing of this act, issue his proclamation, enjoining all persons having in their possession any arms or accoutrements whatsoever, belonging to the state, to deliver them without delay to the Lieutenant or commanding officer of the county for the time being; and the sheriff of each county within this commonwealth, shall cause copies of the said proclamations, which shall be transmitted to him by the Executive, to be fixed up in the most public places in his county, and if after one month from such public notice having been given, any person possessing any such public arms or accoutrements, shall be convicted of having failed to deliver them up as aforesaid, such person shall, upon every such conviction, be liable to the penalty of twenty pounds, to be recovered by action of debt, bill, plaint, or information, in any court of record within this commonwealth, one half of which penalty shall go to the informer, on conviction of the offender, and the other half shall be applied in aid of the county levy where such offender shall reside.  And the Lieutenant, or commanding officer of each county, shall make returns from time to time, to the Executive, of all arms and accoutrements so delivered to him, and also deliver them to the order of the Executive, under the penalty, if he fail in all or any part of his duty, of fifty pounds, to be recovered as aforesaid, and applied in diminution of the county levy.  Provided always, that where muskets and bayonets have been by order of government placed in any county on eastern or western frontier for defence against incursions of the enemy, it shall be lawful for the Lieutenant or commanding officer to return such muskets and bayonets to the militia, taking a receipt from each person for what shall be so returned.

            A Collection of All Such Public Acts of the General Assembly, and Ordinances of the Conventions of Virginia, Passed since the year 1768, as are now in force; With a Table of the Principal Matters (Richmond: Thomas Nicolson and William Prentis, 1785); The First Laws of the State of Virginia (Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, Inc., "The First Laws of the Original Thirteen States," 1982), Compiled by John D. Cushing, at 176.

            This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

            by JJustin on Mon May 05, 2014 at 01:57:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  We have an RKBA member here who believes this (15+ / 0-)

    ... gun should not be distributed, arguing, essentially, that it should be pulled from the market (because it is "unreliable").

    Yes, this member argued for a gun ban!

    I think the resistance to this gun tells you all you need to know about how willing even many of our self-described "liberal" gun lovers are willing to go to compromise on gun safety.

    That is, not at all.

    As I have pointed out many times, the gun toting contingent among the RKBA members here should adopt this as their motto:

                               More liberal than the NRA.
                               On everything except guns.

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Sat May 03, 2014 at 10:58:00 AM PDT

  •  The gun shop owner received numerous death threats (12+ / 0-)

    As one of our resident RKBA members (the same person who thinks the "safe" gun should not be on the market) wrote, the "Market has spoken."

    Yes, indeed. The market has spoken. This is what it said:

    "Sell this gun, and we'll kill ya'."

    Typical.

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Sat May 03, 2014 at 11:02:32 AM PDT

  •  If he goes ahead with selling that pistol (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    he will be boycotted. In a state like Maryland, where the gun business is already pretty fragile, losing a committed customer base will put you under.

    Much is being made of the death threats, and they certainly caused him worry, however he makes it clear in his interview that the reason he chose to backtrack was because he felt he would be put out of business by this controversy.

    For that reason, I think he is unlikely to follow your advice.

    •  he will be boycotted by some--he will be supported (5+ / 0-)

      by others, (including some new supporters to simply pick up the slack) and the boycott might hit him briefly but won't cause much in the way of lasting damage.  People like to spew shit to get their way--but in the end it's usually just noise.  I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of his customers think that some of the nutters on the facebook page are just that.

      But my point is less about the business practices--and much ore about the extent of vile hatred and murderous intent of a substantial number of these people.  Sure, there aren't many death threats--that's a fringe minority--but have you looked at the noise on their facebook page?

      and what of this comment:

      “I thought what I was doing was right,” he said. “I didn’t want my shop burned down.”
      Do you think that if he had just received some emails from annoyed customers that he would have changed his decision?  It's possible.  But it's pretty damn clear that certified loons are running the show here.
      •  follow up: if he were a gun-control advocate (5+ / 0-)

        changing the vision of his shop, then he may have the concern you cite.  

        But this guy's as government hatin'/Obama bashin'/They're Coming to Take Yer Guns!!!!  as the rest of them.  Read his posts.  He's definitely looks to be well to the right of where the NRA stood 15 years ago.

        Obviously he had been interested in testing out a new product that could improve safety and, ultimately might sell well (see LilithG's comments).

        But ultimately the far right is all about eating their own.

    •  Link to death threats? (0+ / 0-)

      Boycotted?  Where?

      Georgia's governor signed into law a "guns everywhere bill" allowing residents of the state to carry guns anywhere in public, schools, churches, bars. You just never know when you'll need to shoot someone. Jerry Large

      by Piren on Sat May 03, 2014 at 09:21:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. "Boycotted" like the family restaurant owner (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Namazga III

      in one of the Carolinas who -- exercising his private property rights -- posted that no guns would be allowed in his restaurant.

      To which assertion of Constitutionally-protected right the gun-nuts whined, "We're gonna boycott your restaurant!"  Which wasn't necessary, in view of the fact they were already prohibited bringing guns into that restaurant.

      Contrary to that nasty, bullying pig-headed ignorance, our system of laws is not based on, EITHER I have rights OR YOU have rights.

      Our system of laws is based upon a BALANCING of rights: you have your precious gun "rights," and the owner of the restaurant has his private property rights.  Neither negates the other -- but your gun "rights" bullying does not give you the right to INFRINGE HIS PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS.

      Moreover, the Founders didn't tolerate your anti-democratic thuggery: upon suppressing Shays's rebellion -- which was done BY THE FOUNDERS, as governor and legislature, by use of the ONLY LEGAL militia, that of the state, regulated UNDER the law as an arm OF gov't -- the legislature enacted a statute granting some nine Shaysites pardons in exchange for them:

      1.  Turning in their guns;

      2.  Swearing an oath of loyalty to the state/gov't.

      Yes, those Founders: those with whom you falsely claim allegiance.

      BTW: if the "gun business" is "fragile" in Maryland, despite the overwhelming gun-nuttism and gun buying, then from where do Maryland gun-nuts buy all their guns?  On the black market?

      This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

      by JJustin on Sun May 04, 2014 at 12:24:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, and where is the link? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm too tired or too lazy, I think the former.

    Georgia's governor signed into law a "guns everywhere bill" allowing residents of the state to carry guns anywhere in public, schools, churches, bars. You just never know when you'll need to shoot someone. Jerry Large

    by Piren on Sat May 03, 2014 at 09:30:35 PM PDT

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