:: Thursday, February 21, 2013 ::
Gun Shy Amazon
Posted by Edward Cline at 11:38 AM
I have twenty-one books for sale on Amazon
Books, and eleven on Amazon Kindle. Upon reading the news that Amazon is
pressuring – nay, demanding – that sellers of guns and firearms accessories
withdraw some of their products from sale on Amazon, I sent Amazon Books this
I direct your
attention to an article on the Web forwarded to me, "Amazon Removing Gun
Products From Store. Worse Than EBay," about Amazon demanding that vendors
remove certain accessories and other gun-related items from their Amazon
listings. If they do not comply, these vendors will be banned from selling all
their products on Amazon. The veracity of this article is not to be questioned,
albeit it would be helpful if you confirmed this ultimatum.
I cannot imagine
what prompted Amazon to reach this decision other than a craven submission to
the anti-gun hysteria that arose even before the Sandy Hook School, Newtown, CT
massacre, together with all the misinformation about guns and gun-owners
propagated by enemies of the First and Second Amendments of the Constitution, a
hysteria which has gripped not only many Americans but Congress and numerous
advocacy groups. This hysteria can be likened to a kind of moral epilepsy, rooted
in a penchant for political correctness and towing the government line, in this
instance an episode of too little neuronal activity in the brain, a phenomenon
which has caused you to bite your tongue and require your vendors and customers
to bite theirs.
That being said
– and I am sure you are not so far gone that you cannot detect the tone of
contempt and opprobrium for you in this missive, but, then, when have cowards
ever felt shame for their behavior? – I offer you an opportunity to maintain a
consistency in your policy and win the acclaim of the anti-gun bloc. I strongly
urge you to remove from sale on Amazon Books any title of mine in whose title
the term "gun" occurs. Two titles come to mind at the moment, Whisper the Guns, and Running Out My Guns. In fact, I suggest
that you remove all my titles, for in
each and every one of them guns are employed. This would include the whole
series of Sparrowhawk, novels about
the American Revolution.
Come to think of
it, why not remove all titles that
feature guns and violence from your listings? If you are going to be so
conscientiously and foolishly sensitive and picayune about the matter of guns
and gun-violence, it would salve your sense of moral worth with an act of total
and unqualified consistency.
Just think of
the national acclaim you would garner by performing such an act of contrition.
Of course, it would reduce your listings by an unimaginable percentage, and
consequently affect your revenue, but, after all, what is money when it is
imperative that you do the "right thing"?
By the way, I
have sent this as an open letter to as many publications and media as I could
muster the time for.
Best wishes in
your new endeavor,
Although written in a contemptuous, satirical vein, this was
a serious letter, which remains unacknowledged by Amazon. As an "open
letter," it was sent to publications friendly to gun ownership and the
Second Amendment, and also to hostile ones, including the New York Times and
the Washington Post. While I received programmed, automatic acknowledgements
from all the publications, only one actual, living person replied, the editor
of the Firearmblog,
who thanked me for sending it.
Let us take
a look at Amazon's anti-sales spiel that was sent to a vendor of
This product has
been identified a X. X are prohibited from sale on Amazon.
For more information on our policies, search
on "Restricted Products" and "Listing Restrictions" in
Within 48 hours of this notice, please review your remaining listings and make
any changes necessary to ensure compliance with our policies.
Failure to comply
with this request may result in the removal of your selling privileges.
We appreciate your
cooperation and thank you for selling on Amazon.com.
by the Firearmblog, the notice was sent to selected vendors. The identity of
the specific vendor to whom the notice was sent was protected by the editor of
the Firearmblog. But, if you look at the "Weapons"
page of permitted and impermissible gun-related items, just about the only
"guns" that can be sold on Amazon are "play" guns, such as BB
guns, air guns, and paintball guns. Under the Prohibited listing one finds just
about the whole range of "real" guns, that is, guns one could use to
defend oneself against burglars, rapists, and muggers. Or even government agents.
Prohibited "weapons" included in the list are bows and arrows,
spears, pepper spray, muzzle-loading, black powder muskets and black powder
itself. And starting pistols.
list was probably culled from restrictions established by the ATF and other government
agencies charged with "protecting" citizens against gun violence, and
too likely with "protecting" government agents against any meaningful
resistance to government gun violence against American citizens.
the Prohibited list, one can only wonder why Amazon permits the sale of any
kind of firearm at all. Apparently, anything that goes "bang!" or
"whoosh!" or "Pssst!" or "click!" scares the hell
out of Amazon.
remarked to me: Why don't they also prohibit the sale of violent video games, and
movies that feature gun violence, and nonfiction books on guns and marksmanship
and so on? Why not go whole-hog, and ban things like jigsaw puzzles of Howard Pyle's
painting of the battle of Bunker
Hill, or of John Trumbull's
Death of General Warren, or of Custer's Last Stand,
or perhaps a video of the Marines' rifle drill.
hysteria has spread to major companies such as Comcast, which, upon purchasing
a controlling interest in NBC, has banned ads by gun sellers. As reported by Newsmax:
The ban came to
light when John Kupiec, president of the advertising agency Canadian American
Corp., attempted to purchase an ad for Michigan-based gun store Williams Gun
Sight Inc. but was denied, according to CBS News' Detroit affiliate.
"Comcast Spotlight has decided it will not accept new advertising for
firearms or weapons moving forward," the cable provider said in a
statement to CBS. "This policy aligns us with the guidelines in place at
many media organizations."
NBC Universal does not accept ads for fireworks or weapons but for some
exceptions. For example, the NBC Sports Network will allow ads for hunting
weapons, but it will not accept spots for guns such as assault rifles and hand
guns. Several shows focusing primarily on guns, such as Guns & Gear,
will no longer appear on NBC Sports, though other hunting focused shows,
including Elk Fever, likely will return.
The term "assault weapon" is about
as denigrating as the term "Islamophobia." As "Islamophobia"
is meant to demonize anyone who criticizes Islam, "assault weapon" is
intended to demonize guns. But if one examines the term "assault
weapon," it is an anti-concept that evokes an image of violence. After all,
"assault" means to attack, and "assault weapon" means a
tool with which to attack. It can mean a tool that goes "bang!" and
shoots a bullet, or it can mean a tool that goes "thunk!" like a
ball-peen hammer or a rock. I think I've read a detective novel in which a badminton
racket was used as a weapon. Or was it a golf club? Better alert President Obama
about that. For all the pricy
golfing he does while Rome burns, and for all the words he's slung against the
lifestyles of the rich and famous, should he be acting as a model for a mass
Anti-gun advocates in and out of government
love the term "assault weapon" precisely because it demonizes gun
makers and gun owners. For them, it is a term of precision and defines the
kinds of guns they don’t like. As reported by the NRA,
however, the term is actually military slang and is hardly precise or
of the way that the slang term "assault weapon" spruces up their
articles, and ignoring the maxim that a term that means everything means
nothing, have continued to use it to refer to things other than firearms – including
baseball players, knives, folding chairs, telephones and SUVs. And, they've applied the "assault" prefix to
other things that, like guns, can be used, but almost always are not used, as
weapons -- including dogs and knives – ignoring one Drug
Enforcement Agency agent's reminder that "It doesn't become a weapon until
you use it."
a George Soros-funded propaganda site, provides a history of "assault
weapons" dating back to Nazi Germany (1944:
Nazi Germany develops the first
mass produced assault rifle, the Sturmgewehr), but otherwise blasts all "assault"
weapons that go "rat-tat-tat-tat" and inveighs against them like a virgin
spinster ranting against premarital and marital sex. As with the New York Times
and Washington Post, it refuses to use any other term than "assault
weapon." The Media Matters article is loaded with scary pictures of
"assault weapons" and military ads that boast of the efficacy of
"assault weapons." An ad for the Bushmaster "assault
weapon" is also featured. All the illustrations are intended to incriminate
guns, gun sellers, and gun owners.
The Brady Campaign has implied that the "gun industry" invented the
term "assault weapon" in 1986, but the
implication is obviously false. As noted above, the Brady Campaign used the
term in 1984 and newspapers used it varyingly during the previous 41 years.
However, though we believe much of what the Brady Campaign says is false by
design, in this instance the error may be innocent. After all, the group states
on its website that it changed its name to Handgun Control, Inc., in 1980. In
fact, the name change occurred in 1979. If
the Brady Campaign doesn't know when it adopted its own name, it can't be
expected to know when it or others adopted "assault weapon."
It concludes with this
24, 2013: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduces legislation for an expanded
assault weapons ban that prohibits
the "sale, transfer, manufacturing and importation of" 157 named
assault weapons, along with any rifles or pistols derivative of the AR-15 or
AK-47. The legislation also bans rifles with the ability to accept a detachable
magazine that also have one or more military features including a "pistol
grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher
or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel."
I wonder what would happen
if I invited big Democratic
of Amazon, to a friendly round of golf, or even to tennis. No, it wouldn't
happen. The club or the racket might scare him off. Besides, he'd spurn the
invitation. I'm not one of the wealthy liberal elite.
I like to "cling" to my Constitution, and guns.
I'm betting he goes around
with an armed guard, too.
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