Conservatives have found another company too "woke" to work with. This time it's a gun safe manufacturer. The people who are ticked off about it are the sort of "responsible gun owners" who get very, very angry when their gun safe manufacturer ... cooperates with law enforcement against suspected criminals.
Back on Sept. 5, Liberty Safe announced on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that it had obeyed a FBI request that it disclose the combination to a Liberty-manufactured safe found during an FBI search. The company disclosed no details, but the warrant in question was soon determined to be related to an FBI search of the property of a Jan. 6 insurrection suspect.
This revelation led to a new epic conservative hissy fit, with one high-profile tweeter declaring: "We have officially found the Bud Light of gun safes. Enjoy going out of business, @libertysafeinc." That tweet and others went viral, with responses ranging from "What's the point in buying a safe if the people who sell you the safe can give other people the code to the safe?" to, "We live in a nation that has gone totally rogue."
Every gun-promoting online crank invariably believes themselves to be a Responsible Gun Owner. And if you're the sort of person who owns a damn gun safe as opposed to keeping your loaded weapon under your mattress for your kids to eventually find and shoot, you might actually be one of the responsible ones. One would imagine you would not particularly object to a company cooperating with the FBI's serving of a warrant on an actual accused criminal.
And you'd be so, so wrong, because cooperating with law enforcement is now, for gun owners, representative of a nation "gone totally rogue.” It’s especially bad since it was directed against a Jan. 6 participant. The right is in broad agreement that the FBI has been overreaching in going after people who attacked law enforcement and ransacked the Capitol because they were trying to overturn an election. A few of these knuckleheads appear to believe that any of that stuff should be totally legal if you announce you're only doing it out of patriotism.
Now Liberty Safe is in the doghouse because when the FBI came knocking at a suspected criminal's door with a valid court-issued warrant, Liberty handed over the safe's combination to the FBI rather than making the FBI take a blowtorch to a device built and marketed for storing exploding things.
Now, it's important for me to note here that I don't care if a company promotes itself using the idea that owning enough guns to justify safes of this size is an expression of "liberty." As far as I'm concerned, once you've decided to court America's most militant and paranoid weirdos, then you can't exactly come crying when they start being paranoid about you. And paranoia, as it turns out, appears to be a prime motivator of the outrage. A healthy chunk of the outraged tweeters are outraged that safe companies keep a record of what combinations individual safes leave the factory with, because nobody actually reads the documentation for these things
Yeah, safe manufacturers tend to keep records. It's because if you, Mr. or Ms. Moneypit, lose the combination to your new toy (something I'm sure none of us can relate to in any way whatsoever), the locksmith you call to help might be able to call up the company and get the problem solved without wrecking the thing.
But this is still all a little confusing, because again: The whole point of "responsible gun owner" branding is that these are supposed to be the people who are against gun-toting criminals. They’re the ones who craft whole personas around the notion that they themselves are the "good" gun owners who get to put bullets through those criminals, thus bravely saving their families, their communities, and America.
Now we hear that when law enforcement comes to arrest a suspected criminal gun owner, being on law enforcement's side is an unforgivable sin?
Huh, go figure. Have fun with that, everybody. I'm sure soon enough we'll see a new gun safe company emerge, one called "Patriotic Felons" that promises to help you dodge whatever warrants you need to dodge after committing crimes. They'll probably get Kid Rock to advertise them, too.
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Why does it seem like Republicans have such a hard time recruiting Senate candidates who actually live in the states they want to run in? We're discussing this strange but persistent phenomenon on this week's edition of "The Downballot." The latest example is former Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers, who's been spending his time in Florida since leaving the House in 2015, but he's not the only one. Republican Senate hopefuls in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Montana, and Wisconsin all have questionable ties to their home states—a problem that Democrats have gleefully exploited in recent years. (Remember Dr. Oz? Of course you do.)
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