OSD 140: Guns are NFTy

On the NFT auction of RECOIL's Chris Cheng cover.

Yesterday RECOIL Magazine wrapped up the NFT auction of their Chris Cheng cover:

The top ten bidders now own an NFT of this image, and the top few got a bunch of other goodies. The top bidder paid $10,000, and #10 paid $650. OSD snuck in there at #9.

To accompany the launch of the article, our own BJ Campbell wrote a piece for RECOIL about this:

Congratulations from the future. You just bid on the Non Fungible Token (NFT) auction of Top Shot winner Chris Cheng’s RECOIL #56 cover on October 19th, 2021. You won it. Your bid just went to fund three gun rights organizations: Firearms Policy Coalition, the Pink Pistols / Operation Blazing Sword, and the Asian Pacific American Gun Owners Association. You won, on the surface, “ownership” of a digital internet image, no different than any other image you could Google up. You don’t own the copyright, you can’t sue anyone with it, and it’s an image that anyone in the world with a smart phone can look at. You can’t hold it, can’t hang it on your wall, and everyone else who bought Issue #56 has the exact same thing you have for a few bucks. What an asshole you must be for spending all this money on whatever the hell an “NFT” is.

Well.

Perhaps you are indeed an asshole, but perhaps not.

Your name is now enshrined in the blockchain as owning this thing across a global distributed ledger of computers that spans a network broader than any Ham Radio ever has. No government can remove your name from this ledger, because the ledger exists simultaneously in a million places and no place at all. Your ownership of this collectible resides in a digital wallet, but the wallet is distributed across the internet itself. The wallet will outlive RECOIL magazine, will outlive the United States Government, and will even outlive the government that follows it, because it’s spread across millions of computers and will continue to spread in perpetuity. It’s like the digital version of a statue on the moon that nobody can tear down, nobody can cancel. And it’s not a statue of the RECOIL cover, it’s a statue of you holding the RECOIL cover. The only way this monument to your charitable effort could be censored, removed, or destroyed, is a worldwide Carrington Event frying the internet with solar flares, or a multi-nation nuclear war. The evidence of your act of charity is impervious to all but the most egregious acts of God. A meteor strike couldn’t get rid of it.

As National African American Gun Association (NAAGA) vice president Douglas Jefferson quipped last year, 2020 was “one giant advertisement for gun ownership.” First the toilet paper hoarders bought guns at the beginning of the Covid lockdowns. Then the black community bought guns during the initial Floyd protests. Then the suburbanites bought guns because of “defund the police” rhetoric during the mostly peaceful protests that occasionally weren’t. Then the Democrats bought guns because Trump might win, and the Republicans bought guns because Biden might win. Then the Democrats bought guns again because of the January 6th 2021 protest. Every single month across 2020 set the all-time record for gun sales that month, and that trend spilled staunchly into 2021. And the story across the nation’s gun shops was the same. New owners, many of whom were liberal. Blue Tribers crossing the wall, locking hands with the rest of the gun rights crowd on that one issue if no others.

Chris Cheng is the tip of the spear for this. It’s not just that he’s a fantastic competition shooter, a famous TV personality in gun spaces, a great speaker, and a smart dude. He’s gay. He’s Asian. He lives in San Francisco, the belly of the beast for gun control power. I only met Chris once, at SHOT Show 2020 in Las Vegas for drinks. It was a long ranging conversation about the future of the organization on whose board of directors he now sits: a nationwide gay gun rights organization called the Pink Pistols. Across the several hour meeting, one thing stood out above all the others. He told me that being a gun guy in San Francisco in 2020 was like being gay in the 1980s. You had to stay in “the closet,” or else get the brunt of social castigation, ostracism, potentially even losing your job. As a heterosexual dude I would never purport to make that comparison, but I heard him make it, and I don’t think he made it lightly.

You can read it in full over on RECOIL’s site.


This week’s links

Tom Scott: The shooting range where you fire over a busy road

Cool to see this from a YouTuber with such a wide audience.

The guns of the No Time to Die trailer

If the level of detail you’d like today is “a 22-minute video about every gun in a 2-minute trailer”, then this fantastically meticulous video is for you.

Oral arguments from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Gun Owners of America v. Garland, the bump stock case (warning: audio autoplays)

This is the case aimed at striking down the ATF rule that defined bump stocks as machine guns. Whichever side loses in the Sixth Circuit will appeal to the Supreme Court.

A film armorer and a prop master explain the standard safety protocols for firearms on movie sets

Lots of interesting details here. The first video is Ian McCollum interviewing Charlie Taylor of Movie Armaments Group. The second is Scott Reeder, a prop master.


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