Monday, March 10, 2014

Moms Demand Action fails to pressure Facebook to ban gun sales

MENLO PARK, Calif., March 8, 2014 — Moms Demand Action have failed in their effort to pressure Facebook (and Instagram, owned by Facebook) to “ban gun sales and trades on their platforms”. Facebook’s announcement this week represents Moms Demand’s third straight loss in their fight to push for inane gun control policies that would actually do nothing to reduce crime. Moms Demand also failed to get what they “demanded” from Starbucks, and was kicked off of Staples headquarters property when trying to deliver a petition.

Moms Demand is, of course, claiming victory, but this is simply more lies and public relations spin. Moms Demand’s founder, Shannon Watts, far from being the stay-at-home mom who sprang to action in response to the Sandy Hook shooting, is actually a very experienced public relations executive. So it should be no surprise that Moms Demand has taken to PR tactics, deception and outright lies as their primary means of attempting to move their zealous anti-gun agenda forward. However, a look at the facts clearly shows that their claim of “victory” could not be further from the truth.

Moms Demand campaigned for months to get a complete stop to gun sales on Facebook and Instagram. This is evident on their page “It’s Time to #EndFacebookGunShows”, which clearly says, “Join us in urging Facebook and Instagram to immediately enact a policy prohibiting all gun sales and trades—especially those among private sellers—on their platforms” (emphasis added). Further, their “How To Take Action” page encourages activists to sign a petition “prohibiting private sales”, to “Post comments on the Facebook pages of Facebook and Instagram demanding that they ban gun sales and trades on their platforms”, and tweet via Twitter pre-formatted messages demanding to “Ban gun sales & trades”.

But Facebook didn’t ban gun sales at all. Instead their announcement indicates it will remind people to comply with the law. Facebook specifically lists these points to their “Enforcement Measures for Commercial Activity”:
  • Any time we receive a report on Facebook about a post promoting the private sale of a commonly regulated item, we will send a message to that person reminding him or her to comply with relevant laws and regulations. We will also limit access to that post to people over the age of 18.
  • We will require Pages that are primarily used by people to promote the private sale of commonly regulated goods or services to include language that clearly reminds people of the importance of understanding and complying with relevant laws and regulations, and limit access to people over the age of 18 or older if required by applicable law.
  • We will provide special in-app education on Instagram for those who search for sales or promotions of firearms.
  • We will not permit people to post offers to sell regulated items that indicate a willingness to evade or help others evade the law. For example, private sellers of firearms in the U.S. will not be permitted to specify “no background check required”, nor can they offer to transact across state lines without a licensed firearms dealer (emphasis added).
Facebook clearly indicates that it will not ban gun sales. Instead, Facebook will merely remind people to comply with existing laws regulating gun sales. Facebook went out of its way to state that no one can actually sell anything via Facebook, saying that “people can’t use our services to actually sell things to each other”. This is a complete fail for Moms Demand to get what they “demanded”.
It’s also their third straight loss.

They previously lost in their attempt to pressure Staples to ban guns in their stores. When Moms Demand showed up at Staples headquarters, there weren’t met by anyone significant in the company – no PR, no Marketing executives. Instead, they were met by a security guard who told them to leave. They handed the security guard the petition and tucked tail.

Starbucks is yet another loss they claimed as a “victory”, about which this author had previously written (here and here and here). Again, Moms “demanded” a total gun ban in stores. Instead CEO Howard Schultz merely asked people not to openly carry guns. Again, no gun ban. Concealed carry – far more prevalent – is completely kosher, and Schultz went out of his way to state that even customers that didn’t comply with the request to not openly carry would still be served in their stores. If gun ban was your objective, and it was for Moms Demand, that’s total failure.

Moms Demand Action recently announced they will target McDonald’s to ban guns in their establishments. If the last three losses are any indication, this petition will also fail miserably. They apparently have yet to discern that many companies want to be left out of their inane politics. More to the point regarding their pleas for “safety” is that most shootings occur in “gun free zones”. The CDC found that citizens carrying guns is actually a deterrent to crime. Pressuring organizations to create more “gun free zones” is antithetical to actually achieving safety. People have the right to defend themselves. Maybe the rest of us should “demand” that Moms Demand Action do some actual research and leave the rest of us alone.

By Matt MacBradaigh. Matt is a Christian, Husband, Father, Patriot, and Conservative from the Pacific Northwest. Matt writes about the Second Amendment, Gun Control, Gun Rights, and Gun Policy issues and is published on The Bell TowersThe Brenner Brief, PolicyMic. TavernKeepers, and Vocativ.

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This article also appears on The Brenner Brief. (Original publication March 10, 2014).

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