By Ben Langlotz | February 3, 2021 | Firearms | 0 Comments
Most of the advice I give seems to revolve around helping my clients manage uncertainty. When things are certain, you probably don’t need anyone’s advice. Now, after many months not talking about the political scene in our nation, there’s a new world to discuss. But my advice remains the same: don’t trust anyone who is certain of anything. Not even me.
What makes these uncertain times even more alarming is that the circumstances are unprecedented. And the unprecedented factors are piling up. Fast.
I’m even more worried about the first amendment than the second these days. I can no longer hear what a fellow citizen (President Trump) wants to share with me. Other people whose thoughts I respect and follow have been banned. I signed up for a social media app (Parler) that was unplugged by a giant corporation (Amazon) I find myself spending five figures annually with, and now starting as the primary retailer of my patent-pending hex tool (and their share of the revenue for their services is astounding.) Side note: Before buying anything major on Amazon, I check the brand name for a direct purchase option. It often saves me the sales tax.
On freedom of speech, I fully expect that many of things I write in this newsletter would get me banned from social media. Half the nation believes the election was illegitimate, but that simple belief is becoming unspeakable in the mainstream. 90% of Republicans and 30% of Democrats agreed with this in a Rasmussen poll soon after the election, but those numbers will decline as the opinion itself is “deplatformed.” 1984?
I never imagined that this old-fashioned newsletter might be my own first-amendment lifeboat. Until the U. S. Postal Service stops delivering this because my content has been criminalized, I’ll continue to speak my mind honestly. The Mailchimp email service has already shown that they will deplatform their customers who transmit to their private recipients ideas they disapprove of, so if you get this by email contact us to upgrade to print.
From my recent Facebook feed:
“Don’t like having posts removed? Start your own social media platform!”
“Don’t like your platform being shut down? Start your own web hosting!”
“Don’t like having your app removed from the app store? Build your own phone!”
“Don’t like being unable to trade stocks when billionaires make mistakes? Start your own brokerage house!”
“Don’t like the way the nation’s laws are selectively enforced? Start your own government…” (Oops, too far?)
The greatest mistake one can make is trying to apply the old rules to the current situation to predict the future. These are unprecedented events and times: COVID, Lockdown, Election Insanity, Media Agenda, Capitol Chaos, Wall Street Weirdness. Is the “new normal” that nothing is normal anymore? Was it ever? Will it ever be?
The election result was bad enough, and the apparent (I’ll be restrained for the moment) widespread cheating is appalling. But the worst thing – the thing that gives you a perpetual knot in the stomach in fear for our republic – is that the blatant, in-your-face election cheating can simply be “disappeared” like a former soviet official under Stalin. We all know what we saw, and what we know, and their efforts to pretend the election was honest are a rare correct example of “gaslighting” (which is the most misused term on the internet, and simply means trying to make someone doubt their own sanity in order to persuade them of a falsehood).
I don’t need to debate the presumptively stolen election. All I need to know is that when they put up cardboard on windows and kick out witnesses, they are presumptively confessing to election fraud. How would you respond to a bookkeeper who said he lost your books, and to trust him about your bank balances?
Election fraud is almost by definition easy to commit, and virtually impossible to detect. The detection is invariably in the statistically improbable results. Which is fun for the fraud-deniers because improbable things do happen even by chance, so they can comfort themselves that unheard-of results occasionally do honestly occur. Books will be written in the years ahead making the case that fraud was almost certainly required for Biden* to win. (He and his presumed successor may unfortunately be “my President” but will always get an asterisk).
We already see some timely research from the esteemed economic genius John “More Gun Less Crime” Lott. He cleverly compared matching precincts on opposite sides of a county line that contained the apparent vote counting shenanigans, and found that in-person voting results were just fine, but mailed ballots has a significant anomaly in favor of Biden* in the suspicious county. That’s the tip of a massive iceberg, and I believe that in the months and years ahead, it will become a definitive truism among a large portion of the population that the election was illegitimate, as are the extreme measures the illegitimate regime is enacting.
There’s talk of “secession”, “#Texit”, and what I think of as a “national divorce”. I don’t expect that, but all it would take to trigger such a landslide would be an egregious measure by Biden* such as “packing the Court” with more than nine Justices. I’m not even talking about a confiscatory semi-auto ban, which would receive derisive non-compliance given the illegitimacy of the government that enacted it (though the iron bars of a federal prison are just as solid).
Which brings up to the state of the firearms industry as I write this – in the first January since 2001 that I haven’t attended a SHOT Show. Fear sells. Genuine fear sells even better than false fear – we don’t even need Wayne’s cover-story NRA fund-raising hysteria. So until anything really explodes, business is good. For me, I find that booms and busts aren’t as different as one would expect. In booms, there are more resources to protect intellectual property, but filling orders means less time and need to innovate. In bust times, budgets are tighter, but smart businesses innovate to set themselves apart in the eyes of frugal consumers. The little secret is that the greatest success is with those who find a way to gain market share with innovation even in the boom times when they could easily just relax and run three shifts as the revenue flooded in. You’ll find a few of those on my back page.
So, with well-founded fears of everything from bans, confiscation, and civil war on the minds of some of your customers, it’s an easy sell. Until it’s not. Whether your bank de-platforms you, or the government just makes your product line illegal, or lets any activist sue you for the act of a criminal who used your product in a crime. The elected government has made it clear they are intent on destroying us.
It probably seems petty to note that when government regulates technical firearm restrictions (like the California ban), there’s a firestorm of innovation. So in this first-to-file system, my best advice is not to wait until the bans are enacted, but instead to file fast patent application (the inexpensive provisionals are fine) on every solution to every ban you can imagine, before everyone else starts trying to solve the same problem.
Important: Be prepared for a mass shooting with just the right gun at just the right time, to “force” them to steamroller our rights. They’ve now learned that they can make it obvious without consequences, so they have little reason to hesitate.
At first, the election felt to me like a cross between Pearl Harbor and the OJ trial. A shared national trauma, but which divided the nation, and made half look insane to the other. OJ is close as far as showing how an obviously guilty murderer can be exonerated in the minds of tens of millions of people. Of course, many who cheered OJ’s acquittal of course knew he was guilty, but were probably content to show others what injustice felt like. That feels like a close analogy to those who know there was cardboard on the windows, odd late vote drops exactly where needed, and statistically absurd coincidences right and left. They wanted to see all those who supported someone they were hoaxed into believing was a white supremacist and neo-Nazi supporter be “owned,” and horrified. Because they think we deserve to suffer the pain of the electoral injustice. Or at least that’s what I’d expect to find if I read minds.
Pearl Harbor was the trigger than changed the nation profoundly at the time, and for ever after. That’s probably close, too. But then, Americans were all on the same side, and the enemy was far away. Now, we have half the nation celebrating the end of a traumatic time, and the other half entering one (but with a better display of mental health, I would hope). This connects to another comparison that didn’t come to me until I saw the election aftermath solidifying as inauguration approached.
Three letters: JFK. That was a national shock my parents experienced in my infancy. It changed the course of history, though it was politically a normal secession by an elected VP of the same party, selected by the President. JFK was mourned by nearly all, unlike today’s result that is celebrated as half the nation is demonized. But the JFK assassination compares as an unprecedented “loss of innocence” for the nation. The innocence lost then was that our government is invulnerable (even having just won the war started with the Pearl Harbor trauma.) Now, the innocence is that our government is even “ours” – perhaps not even a true representative republic accountable to the people in free and fair elections. Not only do I believe we may never again will have such free elections, I’m starting to suspect we never did.
It’s all about the “Burden of Proof.” The other side talks about trying to “overturn an election” – an absurd propagandist phrase that falsely presumes that the initial result has any more validity than a more careful audit, or even the unattainable hypothetical ideal of omniscient knowledge of the true result. But we get wrongly sucked into their insistence that we have to show “evidence” to “prove” our case of election fraud. That has it all backwards.
We’re not trying to put a cheating election worker in jail. That properly puts the burden of proof on the accuser. We’re talking about the need for credibly honest elections, with transparency that everyone can rely on. That puts the burden on the election officials. You see what I’m driving at? THEY have the burden to prove to US that the election was honest, free, and fair. If they say: “That’s impossible, we can’t prove a negative!” then you know they’re fraudsters.
The goal is to get them to make every aspect of the election so transparent and so faith-inspiring that no one could ever make an accusation. It precludes them from fighting transparency efforts in court. It means that every ballot, ever envelope, every keystroke, every click, every box is monitored in real time, archived for inspection, and open to the public. No privacy for workers. Certainly no cell phones, handbags, or pockets. Body cams and mics. Total police state surveillance on election workers, watching their every move. Prison time for putting cardboard on any window. The burden is on them.
In all this, I’m not trying to persuade anyone of anything. You either agree with me and I’m offering some new perspectives, or you disagree (which would be very rare in this crowd). But I like the advice of Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams on how to win the argument with loved ones on the other side: Agree with them. Here’s his simple tweet that demonstrates the absurdity of their position:
“In my ongoing effort to avoid being cancelled, I hereby agree that:
An absence of court-approved proof of election fraud is proof it did not happen,
Courts are the ideal place for those challenges,
Software systems are unhackable, and
Full election transparency already exists.”
See what he did there? Try it on that Democrat in-law. Let me know how it goes.
Meanwhile, keep building, keep selling, and by all means, keep inventing! And get in touch soon if you’d still like to schedule your complimentary “Virtual SHOT Show Booth Visit” if you’d like to catch up, review the year, and talk about the year ahead.