That’s the behavior postulated by John Robb of Global Guerrillas in his latest column, which examines how social pressure groups might seek to deal with law-abiding gun owners. Here’s an excerpt.
… how will the moral network personalize attacks against people who own guns legally?
- They won’t do it by discussing it on the TV talk show circuit or pushing new legislation. The members of this network have already lost faith in that process.
- They will do it by establishing strict moral limits on the capacity of an individual to commit acts of violence. You can already see this new ‘consensus’ emerging. A growing sense that anyone who owns a gun is immoral, unsafe, and a threat to society.
- With that goal mind, the network can get working on the next step: shunning gun owners en masse and disconnecting them from society until they recant.
At this point, this doesn’t seem possible, without legislation to back it up. However, that can change quickly. This effort gets teeth, and the capacity to impact millions of people simultaneously, through a list. A list of gun owners. A list built in part using leaked/stolen government data and through the reporting of friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and more. A list that is potentially stored in a blockchain for durability and enhanced with rumors (statements or pictures of people on the list that makes them look dangerous). With this list in hand, network members would then turn up the pressure on individuals:
- Employers would refuse employment or fire individuals who own guns, in the name of workplace safety, at the urging of other employees.
- Parents would put pressure on schools to ban the parents who own guns from attending school functions or put in place extra security at schools targeting children living in gun owning households.
- With pictures and and a little open source facial recognition software, anyone on the list could be IDed by anyone with a smart phone.
Get the picture? In short, everything from getting access to a building to renting an apartment to getting a date could get very hard for reputed gun owners to do nearly overnight.
All without legislation or government regulations.
Scare you a bit? It should.
There’s more at the link.
That’s a worrying scenario, but it’s entirely plausible within the context of a left-wing, progressive city where social interactions are facilitated and dominated by social media. Marshall McLuhan postulated several decades ago that “the medium is the message“.
McLuhan understood “medium” in a broad sense. He identified the light bulb as a clear demonstration of the concept of “the medium is the message”. A light bulb does not have content in the way that a newspaper has articles or a television has programs, yet it is a medium that has a social effect; that is, a light bulb enables people to create spaces during nighttime that would otherwise be enveloped by darkness. He describes the light bulb as a medium without any content. McLuhan states that “a light bulb creates an environment by its mere presence.”
Likewise, the message of a newscast about a heinous crime may be less about the individual news story itself — the content — and more about the change in public attitude towards crime that the newscast engenders by the fact that such crimes are in effect being brought into the home to watch over dinner.
Again, more at the link.
If one examines social policy-making as the exertion of pressure in and by the medium (social media networks) on the society that uses it/them, this makes Mr. Robb’s position entirely plausible. Of course, outside societies dominated by such media (e.g. in “flyover country” rather than big cities), such pressure is much less likely to be successful; but there are fewer people in such areas than there are in major metroplexes. Social policies in the latter might end up becoming de facto law, and in due course de jure in such settings, simply because those with different views are out-shouted, outcast and outvoted. In effect, the Second Amendment – perhaps even the constitution as a whole – would be overridden simply by shunning it, and refusing to give it any recognition or importance in the formation of laws and policies.
That’s a very scary thought, particularly because those of us who take the rule of law seriously appear to be growing fewer, as we get older, and replaced in society by those who’ve been “educated” without reference to fact and an emphasis on feeling. Lenin had a name for them, of course. This meme from Gab sums it up nicely, I think.