The Huffington Post Educates the Far Right about Ghost GunsBeau Albrecht
I admit it: I did it again. I opened the default Microsoft Edge start page. Lately I can expect to see the same thing from whoever sets up the feed. Multiple articles will feature pearl-clutching hysteria about race. Often there’s a feature about kids with slingshots defeating the Russkies, and there’s inevitably something to do with transdoodles — so frequently, in fact, that one might suspect they somehow became the world’s most common life form despite defying the laws of biology. The start page now has more variety than the covid covid covid/vax vax vax/omicron omicron omicron bullshit from the prior two years. Still, I find exceptions to the well-worn crap to be rather refreshing.
For one such lucky find, the Huffington Post handed me a real peach just the other day. This was “How The Far Right Is Escaping Biden’s Attempted Crackdown On ‘Ghost Guns’.” Oh, cool deal — they’re thinking of people like me! How kind of them to throw something out there for their far-Right audience, isn’t it? In all seriousness, I’d never heard of ghost guns before. For all I’d known, that could’ve been about shooting silver bullets at phantoms or something. They got me curious! Although my usual style is to go into an affray bare-handed like Beowulf, I realize that a technology disadvantage can be pretty serious these days, so I decided I’d better read up there.
The writer is Lila Hassan, “an independent investigative journalist who covers extremism, human rights, and immigration.” She must be new at HuffPo, since her author page there only shows two other features so far. One of them is an earlier ghost gun article. The next is called “How Hatred Of Women Is Fueling The Far-Right.” Oh, I know, totally! I’m a perfect example; I can’t stand babes whatsoever. Whenever Coco comes home from work, I embrace her, give her a big kiss, free her eminently luscious bodaciousness from the underwire confinement, massage the tension from her back, and then lightly work on her feet until she giggles contentedly. But I’m actually secretly crying inside, slowly dying from girl-cootie exposure, asking myself what the hell I’m doing with a woman and wondering how it is that I can possibly curl up in bed with this female again and again, cursing myself for living a lie. All the while I mutter under my breath, “I wish I knew how to quit you.” Yup, sure, uh-huh. Without even meeting me, a Leftist journo has completely read my mind and made an accurate generalization. Well, how about that? With such amazing powers, Lila Hassan should be in Vegas, I tell you!
A video was rolling at the head of the text: “Gut-Wrenching Stats On Gun Violence In The US,” giving some grim figures. One of these was “Although Black males between the ages of 15 and 34 make up only 2% of the nation’s population, they accounted for 37% of gun homicide victims in 2019.” I wonder who’s been shooting so many of them? Could it be Taliban guerrillas who snuck over here? Are the Kiowa Apaches on the warpath? Maybe it’s the Martians? It didn’t say one way or another who is behind the trigger, for some reason. Still, who’s doing it isn’t important, because all good liberals know that violence is a technology problem rather than a behavior problem, right?
What the hell is a ghost gun?
Right away my curiosity is satisfied:
Ghost guns are firearms without serial numbers or registrations that people can generally buy without a background check. They come in kits that are about 80% complete, which skirts most legal restrictions on gun sales, and the customer assembles the parts into a finished weapon.
I didn’t know you could get that stuff. How intriguing! Since I was an ankle-biter, I’ve been a total sucker for do-it-yourself projects. When possible, I even repair my own household appliances. I’ve given serious thought to kit cars. I have even considered building my own ultralight aircraft, which is about as gung-ho as it gets for DIY projects.
So it turns out that you can get a partially assembled pocket of fun as well. Cool! Once more, a liberal journo has piqued my curiosity. Very interesting. By any chance, is the DIY model less costly than the finished product? Either way, it sounds like an educational experience in basic gunsmithing. You know, getting creative might become important — especially if the Martians start getting froggy.
Anyway, it seems that the gummint doesn’t approve. Resident Bidet attempted to crack down on ghost guns earlier, and announced it in a speech. At the four-minute mark, we have this:
A year ago this week, standing here with many of you, I instructed the Attorney General to write a regulation that would rein in the proliferation of ghost guns because I was having trouble getting anything passed in the Congress, but I used what we call “regulatory authority.”
This is a clear confession that, since the legislative branch didn’t give them the laws they wanted, they took it upon themselves to exceed their authority and sidestep constitutional separation of powers with this diktat. Sweet! Although the Commander-In-Thief is missing more than a few cognitive cogs, his handlers have their wits together. Anyway, back to the article:
“A felon, a terrorist, a domestic abuser can go from a gun kit to a gun in as little as 30 minutes,” Biden said when he announced the rule.
Does this mean, like, that they’re faster at it than anyone else? Golly, how come? Are criminals expert machinists or something? Rather obviously, the real point is he’s claiming anyone can put a gun together from a kit that quickly, although of course he wants to be all scary about it and make the rubes think this is only something the bad guys do. Of course, attempting to lay on the guilt by association is rather obviously HuffPo‘s angle as well.
This journalist is on a roll!
HuffPost has found that far-right ghost gun enthusiasts are boldly threatening law enforcement more than previously seen on mainstream platforms, brandishing logos and designs of known anti-government groups such as the Boogaloo Bois and sharing tips on how to evade the new regulations. Technology has also emerged that offers novel ways for gun parts to be constructed while avoiding ATF regulations.
Well, golly, that’s something else I didn’t know. If I ever decide to make one of these ghost guns and run into any snags, I’ll have to check those guys out and see if they have any tips to share. Why, thanks, HuffPo! More seriously, I’d caution people to be careful online, in case these are fedposters or are otherwise dishing out misinformation.
Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization focused on preventing gun violence, has described ghost guns as “the fastest growing gun safety problem in the country,” and they’ve been a weapon of choice on the far right primarily because they aren’t registered or traced.
Again, all this is new on me. If they’re a weapon of choice, it’s odd that I hadn’t heard of any cases of Rightist political violence in which they were used. Is it fair to ask how this compares to cases in which guns were obtained the regular way? Also, it would be interesting to see a comparison with militant Leftists who use improvised weapons, a practice going so far back that Sir Oswald Mosley noted it in 1934. However, that’s not about to happen in an article meant to make Rightists look bad.
In an investigation last December, HuffPost identified groups 3D-printing gun parts and outlined how these groups avoid detection: anonymizing their online presence when sharing prints, tips and points, using cryptocurrency to avoid trails on purchases, and displaying overtly anti-government sentiment on social media and in chat rooms.
Another helpful article with lots of handy how-to tips? Thanks, you’re the best! I must say, though: That one sounds pretty scary. Like, it’s a threat to Our Democracy ™ that anyone dares to display overt anti-government sentiment! Who do they think they are to disagree with our wonderful rulers?
More seriously, where does HuffPo get these brokeback liberals? Their entire ideology — centuries ago, when it actually stood for something positive — began with people wanting the right to dissent when their kings did something boneheaded or tyrannical. Doesn’t that ever occur to these bozos? It seems that principle went right out the window as soon as they became the chief boneheads and tyrants.
After that, there’s discussion of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives clarification memo which apparently didn’t clarify things too well. Then, Jonathan Lewis, “a research fellow at the Program on Extremism at George Washington University,” weighed in further. (Hey, it’s nice to know that universities have researchers who study people like me the way marine biologists study rare species of mollusks. Way cool!) The general upshot is that ghost gun manufacturers are generally trying to stay on the right side of the fuzzy regulations. After that is a photo of Resident Bidet with a ghost gun, looking like he’s badly flubbing an audition for Miami Vice. The shot is nearly as cringe-inducing as the infamous Al Gore gun safety photo. Then this:
Cody Wilson, who in 2013 became the first person to 3D-print a ghost gun, is selling a new machine called the Ghost Gunner. He is marketing it as “zero percent,” seemingly a play on the 80% completion threshold that determines whether a gun is a personal firearm and therefore subject to ATF regulations.
The machine, which turns aluminum blocks into gun parts, sidesteps ATF regulation altogether because the bureau specifically monitors only gun parts and 3D-printing plans.
Apparently, he started a firm called Defense Distributed. I’ll have to remember this company in case the Martians invade and I must become an amateur machinist. Thanks, HuffPo! Not that it has anything to do with the main topic, but then the article discusses his 2018 legal woes regarding a jailbait charge resulting in probation. Just as I was wondering if this was something the government cooked up for mudslinging, or if the guy really is a deviant, then it occurred to me: Aren’t they Minor Attracted Persons now who simply have an alternative lifestyle? Like, it’s the Current Year, right?
Prepare the fainting couch
With renewed pearl-clutching, the article discusses some lawfare countermeasures:
The plaintiff is the Firearms Policy Coalition, a pro-Second Amendment institute and one of the most prominent organizations within the ghost gun community to fight the ATF regulations.
FPC is the legislative arm of a broad movement to push back against the federal government. And because FPC is classified as a 501(c)(4) — a tax-exempt advocacy or social welfare group — the organization doesn’t have to disclose donor information, spending, payments or other operational costs.
Cool deal. So if you want to toss some coin into the Firearms Policy Coalition’s (FPC) tip jar, you can do so privately. How nice of HuffPo to give them some free advertising!
But FPC’s ties to extremist groups are still clear. It sells merchandise that calls for abolishing the ATF and incorporates far-right imagery, such as the “Don’t Tread On Me” snake, a symbol seen at the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Whoa, now that’s super chilling! Badger badger badger, mushroom mushroom, oh a snake! . . . And it was inspired by a flag that the Founding Fathers used! Worse yet, those scary Capitol protesters used the same symbol, too! More seriously, this batch of histrionics reminds me of the 2016 presidential campaign, when Cupcake picked a fight with a cartoon frog and lost. Aside from their lawfare activities, the FPC does have some cool T-shirts and other merch, in case you’re looking for stocking-stuffers. I wouldn’t have known about it if not for the HuffPo article. How about that?
The pearl-clutching then intensifies. For example:
In one post, the anonymous administrator behind the page writes: “If you know anything about history, you know what happens when a certain class of people are deemed the enemy, and unfit to exist in a peaceful society.”
“Our advice is, get armed,” the post continues. “Get so armed that when they come for you, they’ll think twice.”
Surely this was quoted as an example of scary extremist tough talk, but is any of it wrong? What really should be concerning is the Bidet junta openly and repeatedly expressing hostility toward the United States’ founding population. Moreover, they’ve classified a broad spectrum of disagreement with their policies as a defining characteristic of “domestic terrorists.” They know very well that they’re targeting the majority of the country, and that they’re declaring people to be violent criminals only for having dissenting political views. The major difference between them and a full-blown tyrannical Leftist dictatorship at war with its own people is that the gulags are only on paper so far.
The best way to prevent a régime hostile to the public from getting any crazy ideas is to ensure that the public isn’t defenseless. (Let’s get real here. Does anyone think the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment merely to protect the right to pop a cap in Bambi?) It should of course be clear why Leftist politicians have such a hard-on for gun control, by which they really mean gun confiscation. Simply put, they prefer unarmed peasants.
Then the article discusses the censoring of ghost gun technology. For example:
But a removal from YouTube doesn’t mean users won’t find other ways to share tips and tricks on how to build ghost guns. Print Shoot Repeat, a prominent page that shares building plans, memes and other 3D-printed firearm tips, announced in August that it had deleted some videos after seeing other channels get removed from YouTube. Print Shoot Repeat instead instructed followers to go to its page on Odysee, a website dubbed the “YouTube of the far right” by extremist experts and littered with ghost gun plans, prints and parts.
Awesome! Thanks again, HuffPo! With that hot tip, I quickly located the Print Shoot Repeat channel on Odysee. Now I can see all their videos, including their perspective on online censorship. Wow, I never knew Odysee had so much good stuff on it. I’ll have to give it more of a once-over sometime.
Breaking out the smelling salts
The article has been a wild ride, packed full of information for Right-wing extremists like me who are curious about improvised anti-Martian defense measures — but that’s it for the helpful tips. The anticlimactic ending discusses the challenges in establishing ghost gun regulations. There’s much about some gun-grabber Senator from Connecticut. Leading up to that is something at least as precious:
Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, who often consults with the federal government in developing strategy, told HuffPost that federal law enforcement is aware of the change in extremist activity in recent years, and of the threats against their officers. But, he said, tackling the issue has proved daunting.
As dumb blonds from Flyover Country like me might say: The kind of people who the federal government doesn’t invite for frequent strategy development consultations — “Well, ain’t that special?”
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