Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Facebook and Guns

Are you a fan of people like Eric over at +Iraqveteran8888, +hickok45 (the kindly gentleman who reviews various firearms for our pleasure) or others on Facebook?  Well, I I potentially have some bad news for you.  It appears that Mayors Against (Illegal) Guns, and Moms Demand Action, are putting pressure on the social networking site to outright ban "gun themed pages" on their site.

Alright, I can see a point here, somewhere.  If true, there is some explaining to be done, but its not the fault of Facebook, or the people who operate the pages fault.  Basically, and investigation by Venture Beat, found that people are buying, selling, and otherwise trading firearms online.  No so much of an issue, until you hear that some of these people are minors.

As the story goes, a 15 year old in Kentucky bought a 9mm pistol from a guy in Ohio, both were arrested.  Luckily, he was arrested before he pulled the gun out in his school (where he was arrested) and used it.  The guy who sold the gun to the kid was also arrested, charges of being a moron are still pending. 

At this point, I want to say that I doubt Facebook is in the gun business.  They are in the social media business, and how people use or misuse their services is between the people and Facebook, so long as it is not in violation of the law.  In this case, selling guns to children is against the law, but Facebook in no way is responsible for that.  Its not like Facebook operates a page that sells guns. 

Further more, many legitimate businesses use Facebook as a means to keep in contact with costumers.  I might be mistaken, but the shop Eric works for uses Facebook to advertise, and keep costumers advised of sales.  But beyond that, how is Facebook going to enforce such?  I mean its bad enough that posts are spread based on how much someone is willing to pay, but now this? 

But I am getting a head of myself.  Facebook for its part said this about it:
 “You can’t buy things on Instagram and Facebook, nor can you promote the sale or use of weapons in advertising. We encourage people who come across any illegal activity to report it to us.”
You cannot buy or sell anything on Facebook, nor can you promote the use or sale of weapons in advertising.  The most I have witnessed is people promoting a raffle or give away.  But what they are asking is for Facebook to monitor conversations on threads and in messages.  Certainly, the page owners should be responsible enough to keep people from doing that, I guess.  But as an owner, one should be responsible enough to not sell a gun to a child.  Personally, and I cannot speak for others, transferring the ownership of a firearm when you sell it is the wise way to go. 

For what it is worth, Uncle Sam has stepped into this little dance, and added its two cents to this debate.  They seem to think that "Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms are emerging threats for unlawful gun transactions in the United States.”  Seriously?  Like Trading Journals aren't?  Before the God Facebook was The Valley Trader (The Mountaineer Trader, The Trading Post, or The Weekly Trader).  Were they not "emerging threats for unlawful gun transactions in the United States."  Yeah, things just got real people.  Really insane, and really stupid.

If you are like Iraqveteran8888, Hickok45, and myself, be responsible owners.  Don't sell your guns to just anyone because they have the money.  And if you find yourself on YouTube, check those two fellows out.  Class acts, and two men who know their stuff.