OSD 56: Knock knock. Who's there? Jk, no knock.
Sir, drop the Roomba remote. Put the Roomba remote down.
We’re not infectious disease experts, nor are we emergency preparedness experts. (Although if you’re interested in the latter, OSD cofounder Jon Stokes is doing great work at The Prepared.) So we can’t offer you too much about COVID-19.
Instead, let’s talk about principles. The point of principles is that they tell you what to do when you don’t know what to do — or when doing the right thing is hard. In other words, when you need judgment under uncertainty.
And this week, there are two stories of uncertainty to think about. COVID-19 is the obvious one, and we can’t tell you anything there you don’t already know. Other than maybe to remind you that in all things, you will do yourself a favor by being calm, well-prepared, and decisive.
There was another story from this week: Duncan Lemp being shot to death in his home by police in Montgomery County, Maryland. (His girlfriend was also wounded in the raid, and the family’s lawyer says Duncan was shot while in bed.) What we know right know is that Duncan was a gun guy, a software engineer, and savvy in internet gun culture. We also know that he had some guns in the house, which police have alleged were illegal for him to possess. And we know that his death is disturbing.
And right now, that’s all we know. There are all sorts of rumors flying around about this raid. Many of them, if they turn out to be true, are really troubling for anybody who cares about gun rights. So let’s exercise judgment under uncertainty. Let’s be calm, well-prepared, and decisive. We’ll find out what happened here, make a plan, and then come out of this whole thing with gun rights stronger than they were before.
Make it a great week, gang.
This week’s links
Our friends at GGTL with a deep and highly shareable breakdown.
Now she has a new website with a collection of videos that will take your shooting ability up a notch. Lots of drills with rifle, pistol, and shotgun that require minimal setup, but will build your skills and give you something to do at the range. There’s nothing worse than showing up to shoot and not having a plan, so just bring up this site and pick some drills to get going.
Ian reviewing his own book, but seriously it’s good.
Neat video from Brownells with Larry Zanoff, the armorer who designed and built Anton Chigurh’s suppressed shotgun.
New Jersey prosecutors drop their case against Roosevelt Twyne, the security guard arrested for his legal gun and legal ammo
Quick stereotype-busting video from a new group.
Jacob Sullum on a red flag case out of Florida.
The comments on the mainstream sub of /r/Virginia are overwhelmingly — and calmly — pro-gun-rights.
One year ago when Dick’s pulled guns from its first round of stores, we flagged this as where things were headed:
This is a predictable outcome of the culture war dynamics around this issue. Once a company takes a public stance on this, there isn't really a stable equilibrium anywhere between all or nothing.
That's because the decision is self-accelerating.
They kneecapped Field & Stream and the gun-related sections at Dick's with their actions after Parkland. That burned a huge amount of customer goodwill, and several major manufacturers like Mossberg terminated their relationships with Dick's. That led to declining sales in the gun sections. That led the company to cut those gun sections altogether from these 125 stores. Which will lead to further declining gun sales in the remaining gun stores. Which will in turn lead them to cut gun sales from most of the remaining stores within the next few years. All of this in the context of secular trends that will destroy most mid-tier retailers over the next decade anyway.
The stable equilibria for any retailer are: 1) zero gun-related merchandise, or 2) a relatively free selection. I expect that most retailers will pick one or the other over the next few years.
It’s the simple pleasures.
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