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A Chance to Help a Gun Guy
There's a GoFundMe for legal fees. Please consider donating if this is a possibility for you. [Here]
3D Printing and DIY
New Ghost Gun Rules Go Into Effect on 8/24
The Biden administration's new rules about ghost guns will go into effect next week on August 24th. The specifics were covered back in Issue #15 [here], but a short version is that popular 80% kit sales like the P80 'buy, build, shoot' packages will be outlawed, and a number of semantic definitions for parts are changing. The new rules are not very clear (likely by design), and while there's an argument to be made that non-indexed 80% metal lowers would still be fine, no one wants to be the canary in the coal mine, and many vendors are simply stopping the sale of anything in a gray area.
This will need to play out in court, but it's probably goodbye to most of the normie-tier 80% market for now.
Jannies Do it for Free
As the effective date for the new ghost gun rules approaches, the ideological janitors at Giffords and Everytown are doing their part to make sure the latest attack is a multi-pronged one.
Everytown this week pressured YouTube and Giffords took on FedEx, each with assistance from NBC and Vice journalists, respectively. It appears to have been a pretty effective attack, as FedEx updated its policies to prohibit the shipping of certain gun parts, and YouTube has been making life difficult for 3D2A content creators.
If you've been paying attention, you'll recognize in these screenshots Vice journalist Keegan Hamilton as the same little fella who was out with celebrity police officer Rob Pincus at Maker's Match last year.
As predicted by myself (and many others), bringing a Vice reporter into the fold of the DIY gun community has not made for net positive outcomes. Sure, the Vice documentary probably did get some people into 3D printing. But in exchange, the media outlet is now armed with hours of B-roll to create propaganda and enough exposure to the hobby to regurgitate the same anti-gun talking points every six weeks for a few years.
We're not just taking issue with this at face value because it's anti-gun. The problem is more significant. Journalists like Keegan are parts of a political machine. In this system, NGOs and individual journalists interact through mutually beneficial relationships to help themselves while eroding the personal freedoms of the everyday citizen.
The tactic here is simple. Giffords sends FedEx a letter demanding they change their policies to favor the anti-gun lobby, and then Giffords also forwards the letter to Vice Media. Vice centers an article around the letter and spams the article on Twitter to create a coercive effect against FedEx while soaking up the clicks.
It's a pretty basic attack structure, and there's an obvious incentive for NGOs like Giffords to have symbiotic relationships with scumbag journalists like Keegan Hamilton. When the move is orchestrated properly, Giffords takes the policy win, and Keegan gets the click-thru rate on his articles. It's an effective method for NGOs to leverage journalists as ideological enforcement agents. As someone once said, 'Journalists are just cops without jurisdictional limits.'
The relevant Vice article is [Here] and your key phrase to look out for is that the Giffords letter was "first obtained and reported by VICE News."
In sum, both FedEx and UPS, after being pressured by third parties, have adopted policies that are openly hostile to the 3D and DIY gun communities within the last few weeks. So, again, maybe avoid inviting Vice journalists to your ghost gun events.
On the plus side, it looks like at least 3D Print General got his YouTube channel back, but others are still getting jerked around. This is yet another unfortunate escalation by YouTube against a community that's already heavily maligned and disproportionately harmed by the media giant's subjective and arbitrarily enforced content policies.
A Last Minute Parts Scramble
Because the Biden administration's new rules go into effect next week, your time is limited to get any parts you might want from major vendors. I'm sure a gray/black market for this stuff will persist, but white market sales from "real" companies will end on Wednesday.
Remember: there's a good chance that whatever transaction you make using a real name and credit card will end up in the hands of law enforcement (think about the ATF seizing records from Polymer80 and stamps.com). I'm not saying you should let that make your decision for you – especially if you're a legitimate hobbyist without a criminal history – but remember that ATF doesn't need probable cause or a warrant to look at sales records of FFLs (including ones that sell 80% parts and kits).
Skate or Die
If you skate, these limited-run FGC-9 decks look pretty slick. Shop [Here]. (No financial affiliation, I just think these look cool.)
The Pain in Spain
Police in Spain captured this craftmade AR-9 in a raid on an illegal firearms building operation. The raid was against a private home, and three printers were recovered.
Mr. Smith Goes at Washington
Mark Smith, CEO of gun maker Smith & Wesson, released a statement this week pushing back against the politicians and NGOs which seek to disparage firearm manufacturers and the industry as a whole. You can read the release [here]. It's worth taking the thirty seconds to read directly from the source because several legacy media outlets have already released articles twisting it.
Smith lands some punches, citing activist DAs and soft-on-crime policies as driving forces behind violent crime in America's cities. It's good to see an industry CEO not pulling punches about social decay, but in my opinion, the most valuable part of his statement is the following:
We are proud of our 170-year history. We are proud of the commitment of our employees to making a quality product. We are proud to provide law-abiding citizens and law enforcement -- our customers -- with the tools to provide for their security and independence. We are proud of our responsibile business practices.
I think this is a strong point because while it's true the anti-gunners are hypocrites, liars, bad actors, and worse, it's more productive to simply tell them that you're proud to make guns and proud to put them into the hands of law-abiding citizens than it is to try and engage them on their own talking points. The best way to win is not to play.
There's a very meaningful difference between saying, "Mr. Anti-Gunner, you're a hypocrite," and saying, "Mr. Anti-Gunner, I'm proud to make guns, and I don't care what you think." We need more of this attitude from leaders in the industry. After all, there's no point in interacting with these people in good faith. They do not share your values, they hate you, and they want you unarmed and at the mercy of their bureaucracy.
350 Legend, Now in a Wheelgun
S&W released an X-frame revolver chambered in 350 Legend. The wheel gun relies on moon clips to chamber the popular straight wall hunting cartridge. The 350 Legend has grown in popularity as a powerful, flat-shooting cartridge with manageable recoil.
Straight wall cartridges are popular for hunting in jurisdictions that prohibit the use of bottleneck cartridges (like 5.56MM NATO or 30-30WIN) for hunting. A 350 Legend is good out to about 200-250 yards and then quickly loses steam, so it's much safer to use in areas where there may be other hunters in the woods or in proximity to residential zones butted up against hunting areas.
350 Legend carries more energy out to 200 yards than 223 Remington, 300 Blackout, or 30-30 Winchester, making it a natural choice for deer hunting in places where your cartridge options are limited. The option to carry the round in a large frame revolver will likely be well-received. MSRP $1599.
A Winner's Attitude
An Oklahoma woman locked in the back of a police SUV demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the state's "Work Conquers All" motto this week. Rachel Clay escaped her handcuffs, fished an AR-15 from the front seat of the cruiser, loaded it, and opened fire on police from inside the vehicle. An officer and bystander were injured; no one was killed. [Here]
Pennsylvania Farm Raided by Feds
Miller's Organic Farm, a privately owned organic farm in Amish country, which sells meat and raw milk direct to a customer base of private members, was raided by the feds as part of a concept of court charge.
If there's one line in the story that makes me like the Millers:
Government attorneys say that Miller shows a “singular, historic willingness to flout democratically enacted federal food safety laws of general applicability.”
The farm does not use antimicrobial citric acid on the meat of slaughtered animals and sells raw, unpasteurized milk—crimes of the century.
The Millers posted this update to their website recently:
Behind The Lines Strike on Russia
In the Russia/Ukraine war, strikingly successful attacks have recently occurred against high-value targets deep behind Russian lines. There's no clear information about whether these attacks resulted from precision munitions or special forces raids. Still, it's looking tentatively like this was an achievement of Ukrainian special forces. Both a munitions depot and an airbase were successfully attacked. Ukrainian SOF has been training with American Green Berets for almost a decade, so it stands to reason they'd be more than capable of nighttime raids like the one against Saki Air Base.
If you're following the war, this is an interesting twist. Russia has basically been held to a stalemate, and this can be a death sentence as the aggressor. Losing the initiative is a pretty negative indicator for offensive ground combat; violence of action is what wins the day. If you cannot gain fire superiority or freedom of maneuver, you may as well pack up and turn around. If the lines remain stagnant and the Ukrainian SOF can develop an op-tempo of successful strikes behind Russian lines, we may see the tide turn.
The Union Makes us Strong
The Minneapolis Public Schools and their local teacher's union agreed to fire white teachers first in the event of budget cuts because, of course.
Housing Enters Recession
The housing market is entering a recession as home sales slow. Home sales are down 6% month-over-month and 20% year-over-year. Homes are still selling quickly, at a 14-day average time to contract, and prices are still high, at a nearly 11% YoY gain, but gains are slowing or correcting in some markets.
The main bottleneck here is supply. New home building is taking a beating, as high numbers of buyers are falling through. Mortgage rates have jumped into the high-5% to low-6% range, so people who could buy at 3% eight months ago are walking away or failing to qualify today as rates double and construction nears completion.
Current homeowners will continue sitting pretty, but renters and would-be new buyers will remain at a disadvantage.
Muscle Cars Spin Out
Dodge is discontinuing its Challenger and Charger lines at the end of 2023 and taking things in the direction of electric vehicles.
"We are celebrating the end of an era — and the start of a bright new electrified future — by staying true to our brand," Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand chief executive officer at Stellantis, said in a statement.
The company will release several special edition 'last call' models next year for buyers who want to get ahold of what may presumably be the last Dodge muscle cars manufactured.
Security Warning for Anons
For what it's worth, it's a good idea to sign up for things like Twitter with a burner email or a randomly named Gmail account rather than your real email specifically for this reason. For example: "[email protected]" is a much better email address than "[email protected]" or something like that.