OSD 38: Guns and Facebook, from an 11-year company vet

Welcome to all the new subscribers who came in via Chuck Rossi's interview on The Gun Collection podcast. And if you haven't heard it, check it out, it's a great listen. Chuck is a co-founder of OSD and was an early employee at Facebook, where for 11 years he was the company's resident gun expert.

He worked to inform and correct the company's policies to make them more fair to people posting gun content. Spoiler alert: easier said than done! In the interview, he shares never-before-seen details about how content policies work from the inside, and the complexities of doing this stuff at multi-billion-user scale. Enjoy!

This week's links

SelectAR and Gunstruction
One of the coolest things about tech is that as something turns into software, it takes on the properties of software. Low marginal costs. Forkable. Copyable. Spreadable. Hard to track. Hard to stop. A lot of the glossy stuff going on in the gun world right now — 3D printing, video games as cultural vector, etc. — is an example of that.

These two sites are another great example. They're drag-and-drop gun build apps, and they're hooked up to store catalogs to pull in real-time pictures and prices. There's something we talk about often: if you want to spread gun culture and strengthen gun rights, just make more gun owners. That's it, that alone takes care of the bulk of the work.

The internet, with its community-building and onboarding/educational tools, is a powerful engine for creating gun owners. So it's cool to see good software engineers putting their skills to work on this.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Software is eating the world, and it has only begun to nibble on guns. Remember those properties of software from above. Those all work in favor of our goals. What does it look like when gains compound over 5, 10, 20 years? Buckle up.

Groupon has a helpful page about how to go shooting for the first time
As we mentioned last week, we love Prof. David Yamane's line that "guns are normal, and normal people use guns". If we want to spread the word about one thing, that's it. That kind of normalization is the whole ballgame. It's powerful when a mainstream company like Groupon writes a page like this with a "sure, why wouldn't you go to the range? here's how to have a good time there." tone.

States Are Depriving Innocent People of Their Second Amendment Rights
Jacob Sullum in Reason on how, despite promises to the contrary, red flag laws have empirically turned out to impose effectively zero due process before seizing a target's guns. Sullum also interviews Kendra Parris, a lawyer who defends people on the receiving end of these seizure orders.

A couple key excerpts:

"During the first five months after [Maryland's] ERPO law took effect, according to statewide data published by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, judges or commissioners (low-level judicial officers) approved 422 temporary or interim orders. Requests for those initial orders are almost never rejected in Maryland, and the same is true in Florida, which enacted a red flag law in March 2018."

"One of Parris' clients, who lives in Broward County, Florida, posted a photo of an AR-15 rifle he had built, accompanied by the comment, 'It's done. Hooray.' On another occasion, he posted a comment criticizing teenaged gun control activists, who he said were trying to take away people's Second Amendment rights. Those two posts were enough to obtain a temporary gun confiscation order, although Parris ultimately persuaded the city to drop its petition for a final order."

9mm: Underpowered and Overrated
Some grade-A VHS wisdom from Manny Mansfield over at Lucky Gunner 😉