What I’m Reading: Open Source Defense

Open Source Defense is an online platform (website/blog/digital newsletter) dedicated to defending gun rights by enlivening, enlightening, and enriching the discussion of guns — and gun culture itself — in the US.

I enjoy the materials they are producing for a couple of reasons. First, they are a good source of information about what a pro-gun position in the US looks like without the additional culture war rhetoric that plagued the now deceased NRATV. No smashing TVs with sledgehammers or burning newspapers here.

Which is not to say they ignore the culture. To the contrary, they recognize the importance of building a diverse and inclusive and positive culture of guns. This resonates strongly with positions I outlined in my lunch time talk at the National Firearms Law Seminar last April.

For example, in the email newsletter I received today (see screen cap below), they highlighted stories of change with respect to guns very similar to the one I have told about evolving from a card carrying liberal snowflake professor to a card carrying liberal snowflake gun owner.

Screen cap of Open Source Defense Newsletter #22 (22 July 2019)

I have not met any of he principals in person (they are listed here), but I have had some very positive on-line interactions with Jon Stokes and Kareem Shaya. In my mind, Stokes is best-known for his 2013 article in WIRED called, “The AR-15 is more than a gun. It’s a gadget.” This both blew a lot of tech people’s minds and allowed a lot of tech people to come out of the gun closet. That several of the founders come from tech backgrounds is of note and explains the name Open Source Defense.

I first “met” Kareem Shaya when he was promoting his interesting “Path Forward on Guns” in 2018. I reposted his proposal on this blog and it was the most viewed post of 2018. Shaya’s path was an effort to get beyond the culture wars over guns by finding a via media between culture warriors on both sides. Open Source Defense is clearly related to that earlier project.

Follow their blog, sign up to receive their digital newsletter by email, or find them on Twitter (@opensrcdefense), Instagram (@opensrcdefense), or Reddit (/r/opensourcedefense). Whether you agree or disagree with their positions, I think you will benefit from exposure to their ideas.

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