OSD 71: What happens when we win?
Beware a group that needs to put itself out of business.
Every advocacy group has a weird paradox at its core: if the group succeeds, then it’ll stop needing to exist. The first priority of all organizations — spoken or not, intentionally or not — is to perpetuate their own existence. So if success is going to put a group out of business, does the group really want to succeed? Even if the individuals members want that, from an evolutionary standpoint, the group’s collective hivemind is going to select for behavior that gives the group more reason to exist, not less. In other words, it’ll select for behavior that creates enemies.
Enemies give you something to push against. A bad guy to point at when you want to raise money or rally the troops. And, ultimately, enemies give an advocacy group its very reason for existing. The more bitter the debate, the more the two sides secretly need each other.
For a group like OSD, that’s worth thinking about. Our incentives should be aligned with whatever benefits gun rights. The goal isn’t to debate forever. Here’s the way to think about this: suppose we won today. What would we wake up and do tomorrow?
Culture building. Making good arguments is fine, but it ends. The thing that never ends is the thing we’ve been focused on and will always be focused on: make more gun owners. Educate people. Build a gun culture that’s super fun. Welcome people into it. And make them into culture builders.
The very idea of “winning” is what Jeff Bezos calls “day two” thinking. Day one thinking, by contrast, means that there is no final win (and for that matter no final loss). Instead, there is just refining your process, measuring results, and doing it again the next day. Forever.
We’ll see you out there. 😉
This week’s links
Good episode. The mainstream breakthrough inches closer.
From June 1 to June 17, 42,000 people applied for the required firearms owner ID card. That’s 0.4% of the total number of adults in the state, in just two weeks.
State law allows dealers to release a buyer’s handgun if the state background check system hasn’t returned an answer by the end of the 7-day waiting period. But:
As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Maryland firearm dealers indicate of the 893 firearm purchase applications eligible for release, 54 regulated firearms were released to customers after the 7-day waiting period passed. There were no prohibiting factors found for any of those applicants.
If you’d like to keep up on all things at the intersection of Maryland and guns, check out Maryland Shall Issue.
T.Rex Arms on how to shoot a pistol and on the ATAK app
Pretty cool to get a close look at ATAK. There’s a lot of underexplored territory in gun-adjacent content, like this and the body armor info they’ve put out.
Bend the knee.
We have a merch store. There are nice and subtle t-shirts, a hat, and some archival gallery-quality gun art for your walls. It’s good stuff.
OSD Office Hours
If you’re a new gun owner, thinking about becoming one, or know someone who is, click here to come to OSD Office Hours. You get a 30-minute video call with an OSD team member to ask any and all questions in a friendly, non-judgmental space. For free. So come on by!