Facebook isn’t a friend of the political right, and that means it’s generally not pro-gun. Facebook has made multiple decisions in recent years that have emphasized its anti-gun stance. It hasn’t done all that much more than annoying people, mind you, but those policy changes told us that Facebook isn’t a pro-gun company.
Which makes it hilarious that the company is under fire from gun control groups over an advertiser.
Facebook has been criticised by a gun safety group for taking millions of dollars in advertising revenue to promote a legal “loophole” that allows Americans to obtain “concealed-carry” weapon permits without any physical training.
The social network’s own records show at least $3.7m (€3.3m) has been spent since May advertising the “Virginia loophole”.
David Chipman, a senior policy adviser at the Giffords Law Centre to Prevent Gun Violence, said: “A company has choices to make, to look if it’s in the interests of their company to support people carrying guns that haven’t been trained to use them.
“I would just want them [Facebook] to make that decision with eyes wide open. You don’t get that training by answering multiple-guess questions on the internet.”
Basically, it’s an app or something that asks you ten questions, then lets you get an out of state permit in accordance with Virginia state law, a law similar to concealed carry permit requirements in numerous other states.
You see, a lot of states don’t have a training requirement. It’s not an issue.
Take Georgia and Florida, two states I know fairly well due to my personal geography. Florida has a training requirement while Georgia doesn’t. Guess what though? Georgia doesn’t have more of a problem with permit holders acting irresponsibly.
All training requirements do is allow anti-gun lawmakers to pat themselves on the back by claiming they made sure “untrained” people aren’t walking around with guns. The thing is, most people who are carrying with a permit have already done some form of training and also understand that misusing a firearm with a permit doesn’t mean they’re not in just as much trouble.
All Facebook is doing is taking money from an advertiser wanting to show a method for getting a concealed carry permit for Virginia, one that is recognized in other states but not universally.
There’s nothing illegal or immoral going on here, yet why is Facebook under fire for it?
The answer is simple. Groups like Giffords don’t want anyone to think of guns in any positive manner. They want to stigmatize gun ownership to the point that the idea of owning a gun will feel foreign to most Americans. Once they can do that, gun control becomes far easier to accomplish, and they know it.
Facebook allowing a company to advertise new means to get a carry permit for Virginia is a problem toward that endeavor. It’s a reminder that guns exist, you can own them, and it’s perfectly legal for you to do so.
That’s all that’s happening here. Giffords doesn’t want people to think about guns positively. It wants people to think of them as something “they” own, whoever they are, not something you can or should have yourself.
Too bad for them.